Missouri Works – A Program to Fit All Company Sizes

  • Tax strategies
  • 10/26/2023
Winning Team

Key insights

  • Missouri Works may provide significant financial benefits for businesses creating net new jobs in Missouri.
  • There is no cost to enroll in the program and no penalty if a company does not meet requirements.
  • Participating in the program is relatively easy and straightforward and CLA can assist with the up-front applications and ongoing compliance.

Curious about the Missouri Works tax credit program?

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Missouri Works

The "Missouri Works" Program is the state’s main economic development incentive program, used to drive job creation by businesses and encourage facility and equipment investment.

THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS TO YOU: The benefits extended through Missouri Works are designed to encourage business growth through job creation and capital investment. Both For-Profit businesses and Non-Profit organizations can participate in the program. Qualified companies can enjoy the statutory benefit of retention of employees’ wage Missouri withholding taxes, that would otherwise have to be remitted, and/or discretionary benefits of refundable tax credits that offset their state tax liability.

One of the program’s distinctive features is its low job creation thresholds. Unlike many other economic incentives requiring substantial employment numbers, the Missouri Works program recognizes the importance of both large and small businesses in driving local economies. This is reflected in the program’s flexibility, allowing companies that create as few as two new jobs to become eligible for the benefits. Additionally, there is no penalty for a company that does not meet the job commitment requirements.

Missouri also allows remote or telecommuting jobs, that meet certain criteria, to count toward the program.

Once a company qualifies, there are several different program "tiers" with different eligibility criteria and benefit levels. For example, if a company is located in a state Enhanced Enterprise Zone, it qualifies for the "Zone Works" tier — where companies need only create 2 net new jobs paying a minimum of 80% of the county average wage and make a minimum capital investment of $100,000. Companies falling into this tier qualify for the retention of state withholding taxes, with a benefit period extending out 5 to 6 years. Additionally, companies could qualify for additional discretionary refundable tax credits, if the project is competitive.

THE APPLICATION: In the realm of economic development incentives, the Missouri Works program distinguishes itself not only through low threshold criteria and compelling benefits but also through its simplified application process with the Department of Economic Development ("DED").

The application process for Missouri Works starts with filing a notice of intent (NOI) with the DED. The NOI provides a snapshot of the company’s plans, outlining projected job creation, capital investment, and other key parameters. The NOI must be submitted prior to any job creation, capital investment, or public announcements are made regarding the project.

How we can help

Missouri Works provides an opportunity for eligible businesses to receive financial incentives in return for job creation and capital investment in Missouri. There is very little risk to participating in the program, but companies must properly and timely apply before an intended project begins. CLA’s tax professionals can help you identify the potential benefits of your intentions and assist you with completing the application and maintaining compliance.

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