Apr 7, 2021
• The IRS will give a tax credit of up to $5k to eligible small businesses increasing their website accessibility
• Businesses with an annual revenue of less than $1 million or have fewer than 30 full-time employees may be eligible for a tax credit
• Website accessibility creates a better user experience, can increase conversion rates, and improve search rankings
According to the CDC, 61 million adults in the U.S. live with some kind of disability or impairment, any of which can impact their online experience. Yet, most businesses overlook accessibility when it comes to their website.
Placing emphasis on the importance of creating a dynamic user experience, the IRS is giving small businesses up to a $5,000 grant in tax credit for accessible websites.
In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about tax incentives for small businesses for website accessibility, who could qualify for it, what expenses are covered, and how to make your site usable for everyone.
But before we discuss everything you need to know about it, let’s first define what website accessibility is and why it’s important.
Website accessibility refers to designing and developing your website in a way that is functional for those with physical impairments, including visual and auditory disabilities.
This includes adding audio descriptions to your videos, using descriptive URLs, allowing users to enlarge font sizes, and more.
There are three main reasons why website accessibility is important for businesses:
1. It enables you to cater to a wider market segment and build a positive image for your brand.
2. It creates a better user experience overall – not just for those with disabilities – ultimately leading to improved conversion rates, customer retention, and search engine rankings.
3. It prevents ADA-based web accessibility lawsuits. Several local business owners who have a website of their business received demanding letters because their website isn’t accessible to people with disabilities. In 2019, there were 2,256 ADA-based web accessibility lawsuits filed in federal courts.
Now that you know what website accessibility is and why it’s important, let’s go over the IRS Site Tax Credit.
The IRS Code Section 44, Disabled Access Credit was created in 1990 to help small businesses pay for ADA-related eligible access expenditure.
This refers to any costs a business incurs when they improve accessibility for people with disabilities, such as, providing readers for customers or employees with reading disabilities, production of printed materials in accessible formats, and many more.
But as technology became an inevitable part of people’s lives, the government saw the need to make electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities too.
So, in January of 2017, they made an amendment to include website accessibility in the policy.
Thanks to the IRS Site Tax Credit, you may qualify for a $5,000 credit!
According to the policy, small businesses are eligible for a 50% credit for ADA-related expenditures that cost over $250 but should not exceed $10,250.
This new tax incentive is available for those businesses that have annual revenue of less than $1 million or those that have fewer than 30 full-time employees.
According to the IRS, the expenses that are covered include, but are not limited to the following:
• Getting rid of barriers that obstruct accessibility for persons with disabilities
• Purchase of audio materials for hearing impaired individuals and Braille documents or qualified readers for visually impaired individuals
• Provide audio materials available to hearing-impaired individuals
• Purchase of adaptive equipment or modification to improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities
• Consulting services (for some special cases)
To make sure that you’re able to claim the credit, you must abide by the requirements of the Americans with Disability Act, which is to be a qualifying small business and to incur or pay for eligible IRS access expenses.
After this, you can claim the credit through the Disabled Access Credit on IRS Form 8826.
The first thing you need to do is evaluate if your website is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Here’s how you can self-check the accessibility of your site:
• The images on your site and other non-text content should have alt text
• Visitors on your site should be able to enlarge font sizes
• The videos on your site should have closed captions
• Your web pages should have a high contrast between the background and the foreground
• Your website should have keyboard navigation
These are just some of the things you need to optimize in your site to make it accessible for everyone.
Aside from optimizing your website, you still need to comply with all legal requirements to improve your website’s accessibility.
To protect your small business from a lawsuit, reduce expenses, and make sure that you’re able to serve your customers better, it’s best to work with a company that knows and understands the WCAG 2.1 standards that can provide you with a highly accessible website.
At Digital Resource, we can optimize your website to cater to individuals with disabilities and broaden your reach! We will also make sure that your website is compliant with ADA standards, and of course, optimize it for SEO to get you the leads you need to grow your business.
Contact us today to learn more.