An ADA-Compliant Law Office May Receive Tax Incentives

Earlier this month, I viewed an online continuing legal education course entitled “The Americans with Disabilities Act: How to protect your deaf, hard of hearing or deaf/blind client (and yourself)”.  The course explained that attorneys must provide, at the attorney’s expense, auxiliary aids to assist disabled clients. Sharon Caserta, Esq. of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Inc., wrote a more detailed and very informative handbook on the topic.  28 C.F.R. § 36.303(b) provides that auxiliary aids and services include:

“(1) Qualified interpreters on-site or through video remote interpreting (VRI) services; notetakers; real-time computer-aided transcription services; written materials; exchange of written notes; telephone handset amplifiers; assistive listening devices; assistive listening systems; telephones compatible with hearing aids; closed caption decoders; open and closed captioning, including real-time captioning; voice, text, and video-based telecommunications products and systems, including text telephones (TTYs), videophones, and captioned telephones, or equally effective telecommunications devices; videotext displays; accessible electronic and information technology; or other effective methods of making aurally delivered information available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing;

(2) Qualified readers; taped texts; audio recordings; Brailled materials and displays; screen reader software; magnification software; optical readers; secondary auditory programs (SAP); large print materials; accessible electronic and information technology; or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals who are blind or have low vision;

(3) Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and

(4) Other similar services and actions.”

If a law firm or another business provides auxiliary aids and barrier removal to allow greater accessibility to the business, it may qualify for tax incentives.  Section 44 of the Internal Revenue Code Code allows eligible small businesses to elect an income tax credit of 50% of the amount of eligible access expenditures for any tax year that exceed $250 but do not exceed $10,250 for auxiliary aids and barrier removal.  Thus, the maximum credit is $5,000 [($10,250-$250) x (50%)].  An “eligible small business” has gross receipts of $1 million or less in the previous tax year or, not, had 30 or fewer full-time employees during the previous tax year.  Form 8826 figures the credit and the limit.

Section 190 of the Internal Revenue Code Code allows any size business to elect a deduction (up to $15,000) per year for barrier removal and alterations to make facilities more accessible to handicapped and elderly people.

For more information, click here.


Please contact me at 954-944-3929 or nrumbak@rumbaklaw.com if you want to further discuss these issues.

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