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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

FAQs – Work Opportunity Tax Credit Online (eWOTC)

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The WOTC promotes the hiring of individuals who qualify as members of target groups, by providing a federal tax credit incentive of up to $9,600 for employers who hire them.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-113) (the PATH Act) reauthorizes the WOTC program and Empowerment Zones, without changes, through December 31, 2019. The PATH Act also introduced new target group L – Qualified Long-Term Unemployment Recipient – for new hires that begin to work for an employer on or after January 1, 2016.

The WOTC has two purposes:

  • To promote the hiring of individuals who qualify as a member of a target group.
  • To provide a federal tax credit to employers who hire these individuals.

The Employment Development Department is the WOTC certifying agency for California employers.

California’s electronic WOTC (eWOTC) application process is a paperless alternative to the original WOTC application process which requires employers to mail the IRS Form 8850 and Department of Labor (DOL) Individual Characteristics Form (ICF) 9061 and any supporting documentation to their State Workforce Agency. eWOTC allows California employers (or any tax credit agent/consultant that holds a current and valid power of attorney for an employer) to submit and manage WOTC Requests for Certification Applications online.

To take full advantage of the benefits offered by eWOTC, employers with 25 or more employees and all agents/consultants must first enroll in Employer Services Online to be able to submit online WOTC Request for Certification Applications.

Employers with 24 employees or less, without agent/consultant representation, are also encouraged to submit new applications online through eWOTC, but they also have the option to mail the applications to:

Employment Development Department
Attn: Work Opportunity Tax Credit Authorization Center
2901 50th Street
Sacramento, CA 95817

Please note that mailed applications will take longer to process. The WOTC Customer Service team is available to assist employers and agents/consultants with technical issues.

  1. Visit the e-Services for Business page and select "eWOTC".
  2. New users must enroll in order to use the eWOTC online program.  Select "Enroll for a username and password".  Please note: If you already have an account with e-Services for Business, you can use your same username and password to log into eWOTC.
  3. On the Enrollment page, select a username and password that follow the guidelines listed, enter the required contact information, and select "Continue".
  4. On the Enrollment Security Questions page, select four different security questions and provide your answer.  Select "Continue".
  5. On the Enrollment Summary page, review your information and security questions and answers. You can select "Print" to print the page for your records. Then select "Enroll" to proceed.
  6. You will be taken to the Enrollment Confirmation page. You will be sent an e-mail with a link to verify your e-mail address. You must respond within 24 hours or the enrollment process will need to be repeated.
  7. Once you select the link within the e-mail, you will need to log into eWOTC in order to complete the eWOTC enrollment process.
  8. After logging in, you will be presented with the Terms & Conditions that must be accepted in order to use eWOTC. It is recommended that you print this page to keep for future reference. Click “I Accept” to continue.
  9. On the next page you will create your eWOTC Account Profile. Select whether you are an Employer or an Agent/Consultant, enter your company/agency’s FEIN, and complete the contact information for your company/agency. This is the information that will be auto-filled on the second page of the IRS Form 8850 when submitting applications electronically through eWOTC. Click Submit to proceed to the eWOTC home page.
  10. A notification stating “Account Pending Verification” will appear on eWOTC home page until your account is verified by WOTC staff. Once verified, the enrollment process is complete.

After you have completed the enrollment process, you can log in to eWOTC.

  1. Visit the e-Services for Business page and select "eWOTC".
  2. Enter your user name and password and select "Login".
  3. If this is the first time you're logging in to eWOTC, you will be taken to the "Terms and Condition" page. If you agree with these Terms and Conditions select "I accept".
  4. If you accept the Terms and Conditions, you will be taken to the "Authorization: eWOTC Account Profile" page where you must provide your Employer or Agent/Consultant account information. Enter all your information and select "Submit".
  5. If you are having difficulty logging in to eWOTC, visit the eWOTC FAQs page.

You must wait until after the Request for Certification application is processed and a letter is mailed to the employer’s address that was provided to WOTC. After the application is processed, you can make a correction request for a reevaluation of your application.

If the mistake may impact the eligibility of the application (i.e. incorrect FEIN, incorrect SSN, etc.), please contact the WOTC office to request the correction.

Select Submit Single Application under the Manage Applications navigation option

The input file MUST meet the following requirements to be accepted for processing:

  • Batch input file must be of content type text/xml
  • Batch input file extension must be .xml
  • Total size of the batch file doesn’t exceed 2 MB
  • Maximum number of WOTC applications per batch must not exceed 200.
  • For more information on how to submit multiple WOTC applications online through eWOTC, log in to eWOTC and select "eWOTC Information and Instructions" under the "Help" tab, and then select "Submitting Multiple Applications" to find instructions as well as reference to the document that describes the structure of the upload file.

Submitted files that do not comply with the above requirements will not be processed.

If the "Browse" and "Upload File" options are grayed out or not available to select:

  • Log out and log back in to eWOTC. Select "Submit Multiple Applications" below Manage Applications. You should now be able to upload multiple Requests for Certification Applications.
  • If the "Browse" and "Upload File" options are still not available to select, you have not been verified to submit multiple WOTC Applications and must contact WOTC.

There are three ways you can view your submitted WOTC applications:

  • To search by the month and year the application was submitted online, go to the "View Prior Submissions" option.
  • To search for a specific online submitted application, go to the "Application Search" option.
  • To view the status of a case submitted via mail or eWOTC that has been processed after July 18, 2011, go to the "Reviewed Case Status" option.

View Prior Submissions

  1. Under Manage Applications, select "View Prior Submissions".
  2. Select the postmark month and year of the applications you would like to view by using the drop-down menus, and then select "Display Applications". (The Postmark Date is the same as the date of submission for your Request for Certification Application(s).)
  3. Next to each Application ID, there will be a list of the potentially eligible Target Groups you applied for, the employer’s FEIN, and the employee’s Social Security number and last name. The current status is listed for each application submitted. View the Determination Statuses section for status definitions.
  4. If you select the Application ID number, you can view/print a copy of your Request for Certification Application.
  5. If the application has been processed, you will be able to select "Certification" or "Denial" in the Letter column.

Application Search

  1. Under Manage Applications, select "Application Search".
  2. Enter at least one of the following to search for a submitted WOTC application:
    • FEIN
    • Application ID
    • Applicant/Employee’s Social Security number
    • Applicant/Employee’s Last Name
    • Determination date range
    • Postmark date range
  1. Select "Search". If the application has been processed, you will be able to select "Certification" or "Denial" in the Letter column.

Reviewed Case Status

  1. Under Manage Applications, select "Reviewed Case Status".
  2. Enter at least one of the following to search for a submitted WOTC application:
    • FEIN
    • Applicant/Employee’s Social Security number
  1. Select "Find Case".
  2. If there are any submitted applications that match the search criteria you entered, they will display in the table.
  3. Next to each Case ID, the employer’s FEIN, the applicant/employee’s Social Security number, applicant’s name, and the postmark date (date of online submission) are shown. The current status is listed for each application submitted. To find out the definitions for different Determination Statuses, select "eWOTC Information and Instructions" under "Help", and then select "Determination Statuses".
  4. If the application has been processed, you will be able to select "Certification" or "Denial" in the Letter column

This message indicates that the Power of Attorney (POA) referenced on the application is new to our system or it has expired. Please note that your application will not be certified until the original POA form is received and processed by the WOTC office.

The California WOTC Center will not accept faxed applications. When you submit a single WOTC Application (Request for Certification) or multiple WOTC Applications (via the batch file transfer), each application can only be sent once, either through the eWOTC or through the mail. Applications are processed in the order of which they are received.

There is a Federal 28-day timeliness rule. For eWOTC, the postmark date is the same as the date submitted online. Weekends and holidays are excluded.

When submitting a single Request for Certification application using the "Submit Single Application" option through eWOTC, the below criteria must be provided.
When employers and agents/consultants submit multiple Requests for Certification applications through the "Submit Multiple Applications" option, any information missing from the below criteria will be marked with an Incomplete status. It is the responsibility of the employer/agent/consultant to correct any incomplete submissions; otherwise the California WOTC Center cannot process these Requests for Certification.

  • Employee’s first and last name
  • Employee’s Social Security number
  • Employee’s Street Address, City, State and ZIP Code
  • Employer FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number)
  • Employer’s business name
  • Employer’s telephone number
  • Employer’s street address, city, state and ZIP code
  • Date employee gave information
  • Date employee was offered the job
  • Date employee was hired
  • Date employee started job
  • Indicator of previous employment
  • Starting/hourly wage
  • Occupational group
  • For Single Requests for Certification Applications: Select the yes or no radio button for each question.
  • For target group “L”, dates of unemployment from the required ETA 9175.
  • For target group “C”, Conviction type (Federal or State) and date of conviction/release.
  • Date of birth is required for the following Target Groups:
    1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) also known as food stamps; target group "G"
    2. Designated Community Resident; target group "D"
    3. Summer Youth; target group "F"

The current maximum potential benefit amounts for each Target Group are as follows:

  • Group A - $2400 - Qualified Short-Term Recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • Group B - Qualified Veterans

    Ba - $2400 - Qualified Veteran who received SNAP benefits
    Bb - $4800 - Qualified disabled Veteran hired within one year of leaving service
    Bc - $9600 - Qualified disabled Veteran who has been unemployed at least 6 months at time of hire
    Bd - $2400 - Qualified Veteran who has been unemployed at least 4 weeks at time of hire
    Be - $5600 - Qualified Veteran who has been unemployed at least 6 months at time of hire

  • Group C - $2400 - Qualified Ex-Felon
  • Group D - $2400 - Qualified Designated Community Resident
  • Group E - $2400 - Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Referral
  • Group F - $2400 - Qualified Summer Youth Employee
  • Group G - $2400 - Qualified Food Stamp (SNAP) Recipient
  • Group H - $2400 - Qualified Supplemental Security Income Recipient
  • Group I - Up to $9000 - Qualified Long-Term Family Assistance Recipient
  • Group L - $2400 - Qualified Long-Term Unemployment Recipient