Many small businesses got hit hard by the pandemic, and it goes without saying that they can benefit from a tax credit. From layoffs to supply chain issues to closures, they have boldly persevered through the hardships. Undoubtedly, trying to keep up with the health guidelines to ensure the safety of employees and customers while trying to make a profit has been challenging.
However, it hasn’t been all gloom, as there has been a rollout of several significant state and federal programs to cushion businesses from the hardship. Many have benefited from programs like:
Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG)
Paycheck protection Program (PPP)
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), among other city and state grants
Businesses can also benefit from lesser-known tax relief programs when filing taxes if they know where to look. One of these is a form of tax credit your business can get if its website is ADA compliant. Let’s delve into the details.
What is Website ADA Compliance?
You have probably heard about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It’s a compliance requirement that has been around for many years. It serves to ensure that everyone can access opportunities and businesses regardless of any disability they may have. Often, when people think of ADA, what comes to mind is the guidelines of providing reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. These include elevators, wheelchair ramps, assistive listening devices, braille signage, among others.
However, ADA also requires websites to be accessible to people with disabilities. Your MSP business website is a public entity and as far as ADA compliance is concerned, it is affected by the rules. Making your website accessible implies optimizing it for screen leaders. For example, it requires you to provide images accompanied by alternative text and audio alternatives. You also must enable navigation of the site using a keyboard. A complete set of guidelines on how to design your website to make it ADA compliant is available.
Compliance with these laws can see your MSP business qualify for a $5,000 tax incentive. As such, there’s no better time to redesign your website to take care of these requirements. It will also save your business from the possibility of being sued. Keep in mind that ADA is strictly a liability law, and you have no reason not to comply. On the other hand, you set up your business for more customers and business success when you have a compliant website.
In the video below LI Tech Advisors speaks with Intelice Solutions on ADA compliance.
How to Ensure Accessibility for Your Website?
If you didn’t know that your MSP website must be ADA compliant, where do you get started with this daunting task? The first crucial thing to do is to seek perspective. It would be hard to imagine what life is like for a person with a disability if you don’t live with a disability yourself. Navigating the world and website is something they face by mustering a lot of courage.
As such, start by familiarizing yourself with how these people access the web. Assistive technology will help, but it may still be challenging, especially on non-compliant websites. However, a genuine desire to help people will be what will make you successful in this quest.
Check Out the Standards
Before you work on your site’s ADA compliance, look out for the standards to follow on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Some things to expect are:
Provision for alternate text for images
Captions for multimedia, which you can provide through auto-captioning
Programmatically determining the purpose of elements
Compatibility with assistive devices and screen readers
Ability to use other inputs other than a keyboard
Color contrast ratios of texts and all elements, and a lot more.
Once you have all these in place, do an audit of your website through one of the following ways:
Manual testing or human evaluation or review of the website: the process takes a longer time to complete and is also costly. However, you can trust human judgment as it is more thorough.
Automated testing using a digital tool to review the site: automated testing is fast and offers a great starting point. Unfortunately, it’s an incomplete process that only detects approximately 30% of all errors. It also can’t evaluate dynamic elements, scripting, and screen reader compatibility.
User testing: the process is slow, just like manual testing, but it can help identify elements that the other two testing methods can miss.
Tax Credit Eligibility and Filing
Your business incurs many expenses in the quest to become ADA compliant. As such, it qualifies for the tax credit. According to the IRS, small businesses are eligible if they had gross receipts of $1 million and less. Alternatively, they also qualify if they have fewer than 30 full-time employees in the year before the tax year.
If your business meets these conditions, you will receive up to 50% of the eligible expenses. These include the costs related to ensuring your website is ADA compliant. However, the only caveat is that the expenses must amount to between $250 and $10,000 within the taxable year. This means that if you spend a total of $10,000 on ADA compliance, you will be eligible for a $5,000 tax credit.
The eligible expenses are only those that are necessary to make your business website comply with ADA law. The expenses could be in relation to adding the required components or equipment, removing barriers, or updating your website’s more intricate details to enable everyone to access the business.
How to Claim the Disabled Access Tax Credit?
To access the ADA tax credit, you will need to fill in the IRS Form 8826 (Disabled Access Credit). Before then, let your accountant confirm the relevant expenses and your eligibility for the tax credit.
If you’d like help with making your MSP website compliant to benefit from the Disabled Access Tax Credit, let an expert help you. It’s undisputed that the process is complicated and calls for a high level of expertise.
At Ulistic, this is our area of specialization, as we want to see MSPs succeed in what they do. Call us today, and let us talk about making your website ADA compliant.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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