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Tax Benefits of Using an ASL Interpreter

Always confirm with your tax professional on eligibility of potential tax savings or benefits. 

American workplaces and small businesses are working to make their services more accessible to customers and clients of all types. For many, this involves providing alternatives to audio sources for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, including an American Sign Language interpreter. Offering interpretation services will help your small business reach a wider clientele, project a culture of inclusivity—and, thanks to the IRS Disabled Access Credit, qualify you for tax benefits. 

As you consider hiring a qualified interpreter and making other changes to remove barriers to accessibility at your business, keep in mind the following information. 


The Disabled Access Credit

To help offset the costs of offering ASL interpreting and other accessibility services, the IRS offers a tax benefit to small businesses who report expenses related to providing access to people with disabilities. Under the IRS Disabled Access Credit, you are able to deduct a portion of what you pay for property and upgrades to your business—including interpretation services. These deductions come as a non-refundable tax credit for 50% of qualified expenditures. The minimum expenditure for increased accessibility is $250, and the maximum is $10,000, which means small businesses with regular accessibility expenses can be eligible for up to $5,000 in tax credits each year. 


Small Business Tax Credit Eligibility

To qualify for tax benefits for providing ASL interpreting and similar services, your small business must employ 30 or fewer full-time employees, or it must have earned less than $1 million the previous year. If eligible, the IRS says your business may claim a tax credit under the Disabled Access Credit each and every year you incur expenditures that increase accessibility for your clients or employees.


Qualified Expenditures

The IRS specifies that you can qualify for tax credits by making the following upgrades or providing the following services:

  1. Removing barriers that make your business or its services inaccessible to people with disabilities.

  2. Providing qualified American Sign Language interpreters or other services that make audio information available to the Deaf or hard of hearing.

  3. Providing qualified readers, taped texts, or other services that make visual information available to people with vision impairments.

  4. Buying or upgrading equipment specifically for people with disabilities.


Additional Tax Benefits

Along with the Disabled Access Credit, providing services to individuals with disabilities may qualify you for additional tax benefits. The Barrier Removal Tax Deduction allows businesses to deduct up to $15,000 for removing architectural or transportation barriers that limit the mobility of the elderly and people with disabilities. Qualifying small businesses may claim both the Disabled Access Credit and the Barrier Removal Tax Deduction in the same year.


How to Apply

If you provide your clients services such as ASL interpretation, you can apply for tax credits under the Disabled Access Credit using IRS Form 8826 when you file your taxes. This form also provides additional details about the tax credit.

Thank you 5 Star Interpreting for contributions to this article.

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