The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. Most business owners know that they need to comply with standards providing reasonable access and accommodation for disabled clients, customers, and employees in their place of business. Did you know that ADA compliance extends to your business’ website as well? Websites should be accessible to individuals with hearing or vision impairments, motor disabilities, and learning or cognitive disabilities.
The IRS is now offering a tax credit to small businesses that want to update or maintain their websites to make/keep them ADA compliant and more accessible for individuals with disabilities. A business qualifies for this tax credit if it has fewer than 30 full-time employees or had gross receipts of $1 million or less in the prior tax year. This credit can cover 50% of eligible expenses, as long as these expenses are between $250 and $10,000 (with a maximum credit of $5,000).
There are no clear rules as to what makes a website ADA compliant, however, some ways to make your website more accessible are:
-Create alt tags for images and videos which allows the user to read or hear alternative descriptions of content.
-Develop text transcripts for video and audio content so hearing-impaired users can understand the content.
-Make sure your website can be navigated with a keyboard.
Numerous courts around the country have ruled that websites are places of public accommodation and are subject to ADA rules. By failing to comply with ADA regulations, your business could be the target of a lawsuit. Claiming the credit is easy (file form 8826 with the tax return) and your accountant or CPA can confirm if your business qualifies. Making sure your website is ADA compliant is a great way to earn a tax credit of up to $5,000 and also ensures that regardless of abilities, all people have access to your website. Everybody wins!