You are probably unaware that an employer can receive a tax credit for hiring a person with a recent felony record.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is “a federal tax credit incentive that Congress provides to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. The main objective of this program is to enable the targeted employees to gradually move from economic dependency into self-sufficiency as they earn a steady income and become contributing taxpayers. Participating employers are compensated by being able to reduce their federal income tax liability.”
Some of these targeted groups include veterans, homeless people, disabled people, underprivileged youth, and recent felons (that is, people who have been convicted of felony crimes who were hired within one year of their conviction or release from incarceration).
Of course, you want to make sure the person you are considering hiring is a good fit for your company and the available position because not only do you need to pay them a decent wage, but you also need to maintain their employment for specific amounts of time before you become eligible for the tax credit. If someone has served time for a crime that is unrelated to your work field, and he or she doesn’t pose a threat to your business or employees, you could benefit from that person’s unique perspective, lessons learned, and a willingness and eagerness to resume contributing to society and interacting with the public again. You could also really help someone out of a very difficult time in his or her life once he or she has paid the debt to society.
It is unknown how long these tax credits will be available, however, so take advantage while you can. Employers can learn more about the amounts of income tax credit you can receive and the eligibility requirements at the following links: