Making websites accessible for people with disabilities has many benefits, both for the company and for its customers. Not only does it make for a better user experience, but it can also unlock some significant tax savings. Companies who comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 can take advantage of cost savings when filing their taxes. In this blog post, we’ll explore how businesses can reap the rewards of website accessibility through tax savings.
The Importance of Website Accessibility
In today’s digital world, websites have become an integral part of our lives. From online shopping to online banking, we rely on websites to get our work done efficiently. However, not all websites are designed to cater to people with disabilities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are over 1 billion people with disabilities globally, and a significant portion of them rely on assistive technology to access websites.
Website accessibility refers to the practice of designing websites in a way that they can be easily used by people with disabilities. For instance, a website can be made accessible to people with visual impairments by adding text alternatives for images or videos, and ensuring that the color contrast is sufficient. Similarly, for people with mobility impairments, a website can be made accessible by making it keyboard accessible and providing alternative ways to navigate the website.
Besides being an ethical obligation, ensuring website accessibility can also be beneficial for businesses. Accessible websites can improve the user experience for people with disabilities and can also attract a wider customer base. In addition, there are tax breaks available for businesses that invest in website accessibility.
Overall, website accessibility is not only a matter of social responsibility, but also an opportunity to gain a competitive edge in the market. By investing in website accessibility, businesses can create a more inclusive environment and reach a wider customer base.
How to Qualify for the Tax Break
In order to qualify for the tax break for making websites accessible, you must first determine if your business or organization meets certain criteria. The tax break is available to businesses with annual gross receipts of $1 million or less, or to those with 30 or fewer full-time employees.
To qualify for the tax break, your website must also meet the standards set forth in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 or 2.1, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These guidelines provide a set of best practices for ensuring that websites are accessible to people with disabilities.
Once you have determined that your business meets the qualifications and that your website meets the WCAG guidelines, you can then begin to look at the expenses that are eligible for the tax break.
It is important to note that the tax break is only available for expenses related to making your website accessible, and not for other website-related expenses. Therefore, it is important to keep accurate records and receipts of any expenses related to website accessibility, in order to maximize your tax savings.
What Expenses Are Eligible?
If you’re considering making your website accessible, it’s important to know which expenses qualify for tax savings. Here are some eligible expenses that can help you unlock the tax breaks:
Accessibility consulting and evaluation fees
If you’re working with an accessibility consultant to evaluate your website and suggest changes to make it accessible, the fees for these services can be considered eligible expenses.
Making your website accessible can involve a variety of modifications, such as adding alternative text for images, implementing keyboard navigation, or changing color contrast. Any expenses related to making these modifications can be considered eligible expenses.
If you need to train your employees on how to create accessible content, or how to use accessible technology, the cost of these trainings can also be considered eligible expenses.
Third-party technology and software
If you need to purchase third-party software or technology to make your website accessible, the cost of these purchases can also be considered eligible expenses.
It’s important to keep detailed records of all eligible expenses, including receipts, invoices, and documentation of the work performed. By doing so, you can ensure that you’re able to maximize your tax savings and reduce your overall costs for making your website accessible.
How Much Can You Save?
Making your website accessible not only benefits your users but can also benefit your bottom line. With the tax breaks available for money spent on website accessibility, you can save a significant amount on your taxes.
The tax credit for making your website accessible is a 50% credit for expenditures up to $10,250, resulting in a maximum credit of $5,000. This means if you spend $10,000 on making your website accessible, you could receive a tax credit of $5,000. This means an annual subscription to AceADA can cost as little as $4.17 per month!
It’s important to note that this is a tax credit, not a tax deduction. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the amount of tax owed, while a tax deduction reduces your taxable income. This means that the tax credit for website accessibility can be much more valuable than a tax deduction.
Additionally, the tax break for website accessibility can be used alongside other tax breaks for small businesses, such as the Section 179 deduction and bonus depreciation.
By taking advantage of these tax breaks, you not only save money on taxes but also invest in the accessibility of your website and provide equal access to all users.
It’s important to consult with a tax professional to ensure that you qualify for these tax breaks and that you’re taking advantage of all the tax benefits available to your business.