Here’s How You Can Claim The Website Accessibility Tax Credit
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*This article is not intended to provide legal tax advice. Please consult the IRS or your tax advisor for legal tax advice.*
In this article we’ll be walking through exactly what you need to do in order for your business to qualify for the $5,000 Tax Credit and also:
If you are in a more serious situation and have already received a complaint letter for an ADA lawsuit, you can read more about the steps you need to take to protect your business clicking here.
Note: Think your business might qualify for the Tax Credit? Click here to get a Free Website Accessibility Test and see if your website has any errors. If so, having our experts quickly begin the remediation process gives you a chance to claim the credit.
Having your website ADA compliant means that your website is accessible to everyone regardless of disability. For example, if users with visual impairments visit your website, they should be able to navigate your entire website by using their keyboard and your website should also be compatible with multiple screen readers. A screen reader is a software that is installed on the user’s computer or smartphone and your website should be optimized for compatibility with screen readers.
Like screen reader compatibility and keyboard navigation, there are a number of different steps you need to take when ensuring your website meets the WCAG guidelines (web content accessibility guidelines) including:
It’s also worth mentioning that installing plug-ins is not an effective way to know if your website is truly compliant. This is because plug-ins run automated scans and automated scans are known to produce false positives, so it will appear as if your website is compliant when there are still accessibility issues that need to be addressed. Also worth mentioning, these “automated solutions” only run at a 30% accuracy rate.
Click here to read more about how to improve the accessibility of your website.
According to the IRS, as a small business owner, in order to qualify for the tax credit your business’s revenue needs to total $1,000,000 or less in the previous tax year or 30 or fewer full-time employees.
If your business meets the above qualifications, you can use the Disabled Access Credit on IRS Form 8826. It’s possible that you could receive 50 percent of accessibility expenses that exceed $250 but do not exceed $10,250 for the year and all potential credit is capped at $5,000 maximum.
For example, if your company spends $5,000 on increasing your website’s accessibility, only expenditures over $250 will qualify. You would then subtract $250 and get $4,750 and you can claim 50% of that as a tax credit. This means you can subtract $2,375 from the taxes that are owed on your next return.
There are multiple risks that small businesses face if their website is not compliant, but the biggest is a serial litigant targeting you for an ADA lawsuit that could result in tens of thousands of dollars in settlement fees. Once it has been declared by an attorney that your website is not compliant you’ll receive a demand letter. This is unfortunately a cottage industry, driven by lawyers who are making millions of dollars every year suing businesses, and the number of website lawsuits is growing by over 30%.
Even after receiving a demand letter, you’ll still have time to bring your organization’s website to digital accessibility standards before having to settle. During this time period, it’s imperative that you choose the right ADA specialist to help. They should be able to effectively collaborate with your developer to address any errors on your company’s website to begin the remediation process. Even if you haven’t received a letter, it is still important to address accessibility issues to ensure that every visitor has access to your website regardless of their disability.
Our process at ADA Compliance Pros consists of walking our clients through the remediation process, starting with an audit. You can take our Free Accessibility Website Test to get an instant general overview of the errors that your website currently has. Once you have your website test we then take the time to go through your findings with you and let you know what accessibility errors we found that need to be addressed. We then collaborate with your website developer to begin remediation and offer continuous guidance and support throughout the entire process. After your developer has addressed all website errors, our specialists will then take a final walkthrough of your website to confirm that all accessibility errors have been addressed.
If you’re looking to put your website on the path to accessibility and have a chance to claim the ADA tax incentive before the next tax season, reach out to one of our specialists for a free consultation.