When it comes to accessible digital properties, the biggest barrier for a business of any size to begin accessible builds or remediation efforts is typically the actual cost of carrying out such an effort. It certainly doesn’t help that small businesses often are the most targeted in malicious litigation for firms trying to make a quick buck and hoping to settle outside of court. However, fear not – in one of the lesser-known Federal actions taken to help small businesses afford the creation of accessible properties, the Disabled Access Credit provides the light at the end of the tunnel small business owners everywhere have been looking for.
The Disabled Access Credit
The Disabled Access Credit provides a non-refundable credit for small businesses that incur expenditures to provide access to persons with disabilities. In short, if you are a small business that has spent a chunk of change in the current tax year up to $10,250, but no less than $250 on making your website accessible, you could be eligible to split that cost up to 50/50 with the Federal government. This includes but is not limited to remediating your web property to be accessible by those with disabilities, building a new site with enhanced accessibility features, document remediation, and anything else that might assist disabled users to access your business’s content.
To be more specific, the credit can go to any businesses that meet eligibility criteria, making it possible that you can get a 50% credit on up to $10,250 for accessibility-related purchases over $250, with a maximum credit of $5,000.
What Expenses Can be Included in This Credit?
In order to be eligible for this credit, the services have to be deemed `reasonable and necessary` updates that push your company further into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Eligible expenses include:
- To remove barriers that prevent a business from being accessible to or usable by individuals with disabilities
- To provide qualified interpreters or other methods of making audio materials available to hearing-impaired individuals
- To provide qualified readers, taped texts, and other methods of making visual materials available to individuals with visual impairments
- To acquire or modify equipment or devices for individuals with disabilities.
Is Your Business Eligible?
The definition of a small business to be eligible for this credit is as follows:
- Had gross receipts (including that of any predecessor) for the preceding tax year that did not exceed $1 million or had no more than 30 full-time employees during the preceding tax year
- Elects (by filing Form 8826) to claim the disabled access credit for the tax year.
For purposes of the definition, gross receipts are reduced by returns and allowances made during the tax year. An employee is considered full-time if employed at least 30 hours per week for 20 or more calendar weeks in the tax year. Lastly, all members of the same controlled group and all persons under common control generally are considered to be one person.
The best part – you can apply for this credit every year, and it’s only one simple page to fill out! If you are a small business interested in filing for this tax credit, you can find Form 8826 on the IRS website here. If you’re a small business wondering how to get started, please contact us to start mapping out your accessible digital future and make the world a slightly better place at the same time.
“Tax Benefits for Businesses Who Have Employees with Disabilities | Internal Revenue Service.” Internal Revenue Service, www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/tax-benefits-for-businesses-who-have-employees-with-disabilities.