Equitable Access to Credit Program

The Equitable Access to Credit Program, a tax credit program, awards grants to qualified lending institutions to provide businesses in historically underserved communities with access to credit.

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About the Program

The Equitable Access to Credit Program offers businesses and individuals with state business and occupation tax (B&O) liabilities a unique opportunity to contribute and receive tax credits. By making cash contributions equivalent to their B&O tax liability, participants can receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit from the Department of Revenue (DOR). Businesses can contribute up to $1 million annually to the Program and receive tax credit.

The Equitable Access to Credit Program, authorized by HB 1015 (RCW 82.04.449) (PDF), provides a tax preference mechanism that generates funds for grants to qualified lending institutions. These grants, funded through contributions in exchange for B&O tax credits, are dedicated to providing access to credit for historically underserved communities. A minimum of 65% of the value of all grants awarded in any calendar year must be allocated for native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) or grantees to provide services or invest, or both, in rural counties. The Program’s goal is to encourage investment in small, rural, and underserved business to boost community and economic development in Washington.

Additional information on the grant component of the Equitable Access to Credit Program will be available in the future. We encourage you to periodically check back here or look for media announcements. Learn more about how the equitable access to credit program works (PDF).

Contributing is easy!

  1. Let Commerce know you intend to contribute by completing the Contribution Request Form.
  2. Commerce will provide the contribution account link and instructions.
  3. Once your contribution is received, Treasury will provide confirmation and receipt for your records.
  4. Commerce will send the confirmation to the Department of Revenue.
  5. DOR will process the B&O tax credit.
  6. E-File your B&O Taxes indicating the “Equitable Access to Credit” tax credit.

Once your business has reached its annual contributor limit of $1 million or the program has reached its annual cap of $8 million, the state will not accept further contributions for the year.

  • Money must be received by Treasury and processed by the Department of Revenue before the credit is claimed.
  • Credit cannot exceed the B&O tax liability due for the reporting period.
  • Credit may be claimed in the current year or carried over for up to two succeeding years.
  • Credit you earn from contributions in the current calendar year cannot be used against B&O tax liabilities in a previous calendar year.
  • No refunds of the credit will be approved.
  • No application is necessary for the credit (but adequate records must be kept by the business so that the DOR can verify credit eligibility).
  • Businesses are required to file electronically with the DOR for all returns.
  • Credits are available on a first-in basis.
  • The maximum amount any single business may contribute (and associated credit it may earn) in a calendar year is $1 million.
  • You cannot earn credit for contributions made after June 29, 2027.
  • You cannot claim credits earned from the previous contribution calendar years after December 31, 2029, even if the credits are unused.

B & O taxes are due for monthly reporters on the 25th of the following month. Quarterly filers must report by the end of the month following the close of their quarter, and annual taxpayers must file by the end of January.

Any tax-related questions regarding these contributions should be directed to the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-1040 or the Washington Department of Revenue at 360-705-6705.

Have a question?

For additional information about how to contribute, contact the Department of Commerce Program Manager, Shiloh Penland.

Shiloh Penland, Program Manager
Email: Shiloh.Penland@Commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-890-2288

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