Tax credit for businesses adds up to big bucks

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - A Cup of Joe is in high demand during the morning drive at McDonald's on Macon Road in Columbus.  It takes a lot of hands on deck to make the operation work. 

John Pezold, owner, knows first-hand how the costs of running a business can also add up.

tax breaks provided through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit are helping to ease the burden on the store's bottom line numbers.

The sugar and cream rose to the top for Pezold when his tax bill was cut by $45,000 just in the last five years for hiring workers like Leila McClenningham. "We still hire the most qualified employees this is just icing on the cake," added Pezold.

WOTC allows employers to receive up to $2400 per year, per employee who falls into certain target groups.  Leila McClenningham, a recently hired McDonald's associate met the qualifications. "She's a great employee; I hired her on the spot," explained Pezold.

Pezold said initially he didn't realize Leila was a WOTC fit which includes qualified disabled veterans, ex felons and recipients of federal assistance. Leila receives food stamps.  "She's really been doing a good job. I can tell she appreciates the opportunity."

"It helps tremendously because it took the weight off me having to call around and try to borrow money. I know I got my own money coming in to make sure me and my children are straight," replied McClenningham.

It's a win-win for both employer and employee said, Dianne Jenkins, Career Center Manager, Georgia Department of Labor. "The employer gets the tax credit and the employee get the training that they need, they get a job and able to support their family."

For employers, if you're wondering how you can cash in on the tax credit, the Goodwill Success Center would be a first step.  "Its screening process identifies WOTC applicants.

The Department of Labor indicated there's no red tape. Employers fill out a form for verification purposes. The document can be picked up at the Department of Labor office on Veterans Parkway.