Official Government Website

Return to Work Bonuses

APPLICATION PERIOD CLOSED ON AUGUST 14, 2020.

Eligible entities may apply starting at noon MT on July 13, 2020 (subject to available funding).

Bonuses will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until bonuses are fully expended.

According to a recent study, more than 60 percent of Americans who are out of work as a result of the pandemic earn more with the enhanced unemployment benefits than they do from their normal wages. To offset this short-term unemployment benefit and get workers back into the workplace, a one-time bonus will be provided to each qualified employee.

An Idaho employer can apply for the bonuses for their eligible employees. Awards will be up to $1,500 for full-time work, minimum of 30 hours per week, and up to $750 for part-time work, minimum of 20 hours per week, over the four weeks following return to work.



HOW DOES THE EMPLOYER APPLY ON BEHALF OF THE EMPLOYEE?

The Idaho State Tax Commission will handle applications. Employers must first establish a secure Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) account to protect their personal and business information on submitted applications. Small businesses interested in applying should start this process immediately.

Applications are submitted by employers on behalf of their eligible employees.

If you are a tax professional without a TAP account and you intend to apply on behalf of an employer who is your client, you’ll need to follow the registration steps below. Once your account is validated, you can request access to your client’s accounts. Click on the Advanced Use of TAP link below for instructions on requesting access. This process will take longer and requires your client’s permission. We suggest you request a TAP account right away.

To apply, follow these steps:

  • Step 1- Log in to your TAP account
  • Step 2 – Skip to step 3 unless you are a third party filing on behalf of your authorized client
    • Third parties, select your client from the client list
  • Step 3 – Click the ‘Return To Work’ link in the “I Want To” section at the top right
  • Step 4 – Complete and submit your application

Applications will be accepted beginning July 13, 2020 and continuing through August 14, 2020.

DETAILS

  • Total Program: $100 million
  • Return to work bonus: $1,500 full time (minimum of 30 hours per week), $750 part time (minimum of 20 hours per week) and have been back to work for at least four weeks
  • Only one bonus per employee
  • Subject to qualification
  • Targeted to those employees that forgo additional unemployment and return to work

All bonuses will be reported by individual on Transparent.Idaho.Gov.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

Any eligible Idaho employer with Idaho employees who stop collecting unemployment and return to work can apply for a Return to Work Bonus.

Idaho employers can apply for the bonuses for their eligible employees who meet the following criteria:

  • The employee must be a resident of Idaho who’s worked for an Idaho employer in 2020
  • The employee submitted a request for and was not denied Idaho unemployment benefits or continued to receive benefits on or after March 1, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • The employee has completed four consecutive weeks of work for a non-governmental employer
  • The employee returned to work with the employer any time from April 20, 2020 through July 15, 2020
  • The employee’s wages are $75,000 or less annually
  • The employee’s position is intended to continue beyond four weeks

HOW IS “ELIGIBLE IDAHO EMPLOYER” DEFINED?

A non-governmental employer who issues W2s to Idaho employees directly or through a contract with a professional employer organization.

WHEN CAN A BUSINESS APPLY?

A business can apply on or after noon MT on July 13, 2020 if they have any employees who have completed the four-week work requirement. 

WHAT ARE THE AWARD AMOUNTS?

Employees averaging 30 hours or more per week during the four-week qualifying period:

  • Returned to work from April 20, 2020 to July 1, 2020 = $1500
  • Returned to work from July 2, 2020 to July 8, 2020 = $1000
  • Returned to work from July 9, 2020 to July 15, 2020 = $500

Employees averaging 20 hours or more per week during the four-week qualifying period:

  • Returned to work from April 20, 2020 to July 1, 2020 = $750
  • Returned to work from July 2, 2020 to July 8, 2020 = $500
  • Returned to work from July 9, 2020 to July 15, 2020 = $250

DOES THE EMPLOYEE HAVE TO HAVE BEEN EMPLOYED BY THE BUSINESS PRIOR TO MARCH 1, 2020?

No. They may be returning to work with a new employer.

CAN AN EMPLOYER FILE MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS AS MORE OF THEIR EMPLOYEES QUALIFY?

Yes. Employees can be added as they meet the qualifications and bonus funds are still available.

CAN AN EMPLOYEE WITH MORE THAN ONE JOB GET MULTIPLE BONUSES?

No.  An employee can only receive one bonus from this program.  The bonus amount will be based on the job where the employee works the highest number of hours per week. 

Example:  An employee works two jobs – one for Employer A, where they work 20 hours per week; and one for Employer B, where they work 30 hours per week.  Both employers submit an application for the employee to receive a bonus.  The bonus amount will be $1500 as it’s based off the job with the highest number of hours worked per week (amounts will be prorated for start dates after July 1, 2020).

CAN AN EMPLOYER SUBMIT AN EMPLOYEE WITH AN ITIN?

No.  An employee must have a valid Social Security number issued to them by the Social Security Administration to file for Idaho Unemployment and be eligible for the bonus.

HOW CAN EMPLOYERS HELP IN THE PROCESSING OF EMPLOYEE BONUSES?

Employers can help by ensuring they have reported all new employees and rehired employees with the Idaho Department of Labor.  Go to https://labor.idaho.gov/dnn/Businesses/New-Hire for more information.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR MY EMPLOYEE(S) TO RECEIVE THEIR PAYMENT AFTER MY APPLICATION IS SUBMITTED?

We anticipate approximately one week after the application is approved.

WHAT INFORMATION WILL BE REPORTED TO TRANSPARENT IDAHO?

The Transparent Idaho website will display a list of bonus recipients and business applicants that includes the employee name, location, full or part-time status, Idaho industry sector, business name, location, and total employee bonus award.

WHAT INFORMATION WILL EMPLOYERS NEED TO APPLY?

The State Tax Commission will handle applications. All applicants must first establish a Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) account.

Register with TAP for the Return to Work Bonuses

  1. On the TAP home page, click “Don’t have a logon? Register here” beneath the “Log In” button.
  2. Leave “No” selected where you’re asked if you received a code. Click “Next.”
  3. Fill in all the required fields. If a field turns red/pink, hover over it to see the error and correct it. (Call the efile Help Desk at (208) 332-6632 if you’re unable to correct the fields in error.)
    1. For the “You Are” field, use the drop-down arrow to select:
      – BUSINESS if you’re an owner or employee of a business (but not the sole owner)
      –If you’re the sole owner of a business and have employees
      – 3RD PARTY TAX PROFESSIONAL if you’re a tax preparer or accountant managing your clients’ taxes
  4. Click “Submit.”  The Tax Commission will send you a letter. This letter has a registration code. When you receive your letter, return to the TAP home page and click “Don’t have a logon? Register here” beneath the “Log In” button.
  5. Click on “Yes” to indicate that you have a registration code, then click “Next.”
  6. On the “Verify” page:
    1. Enter the registration code exactly the way it appears in your letter (it is case sensitive)
    1. Select the option under “You Are” that matches the selection you made during your pre-registration
    1. Enter the EIN or SSN that you used during your pre-registration
    1. Click “Next”
    1. Complete the required fields
    1. Click “Submit”

You now have full access to your TAP account.

  • If you don’t receive a letter within five business days after your request was successfully submitted, contact us at efilehelp@tax.idaho.gov or call (208) 332-6632.
  • If you’re a tax professional who needs to file/pay for clients, read our Advanced Use of TAP guide.

After logging in to TAP, applicants will need the following information to complete their application:

  • Their Employment Identification Number (EIN) if applicable.
  • Employee name, SSN, address, contact number, average hours worked per week, number of weeks worked, and bank account for direct deposit of the bonus.

WHY CAN’T I SUBMIT A PAPER APPLICATION FOR THE RETURN TO WORK BONUSES?

The program is intended to get cash into the hands of your employees as soon as possible. Manually processing paper applications would severely slow down the program and limit its effectiveness.

IF I DON’T HAVE A COMPUTER OR SMART PHONE, HOW CAN I SUBMIT AN APPLICATION?

Your tax professional or a close family member may be able to help you set up a Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) account and fill out the Return to Work application.

WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?

The bonus application and approval process is intended to be fully automated, allowing bonus payments to be issued rapidly. Information about the status of your bonus application can be found in your TAP account.

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