You can receive an ADA small business tax credit simply by making your website more accessible to disabled people. ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act – meant to protect the civil rights of people who are disabled.
This protection extends to employment, transportation, communications, and accommodations. Title II and III of the act apply to making online content more accessible.
Tax Credits and Deductions
To ensure ADA compliance, federal and state tax laws provide tax incentives for small businesses. Therefore, small business people can receive an ADA tax credit simply by making their website more ADA-friendly.
To accelerate compliance, federal and state legislation provides financial incentives for small businesses for improving website access for disabled people.
This includes offsetting the costs related to building a website. These costs may include coding and development, formatting content, and SEO.
By following ADA standards when operating a website, you too can also take advantage of the ADA tax credit while increasing website traffic.
Qualifying as an ADA Accessible Website
The ADA does not prescribe precise website standards. Generally, ADA-compliant websites incorporate design elements enabling disabled users to do many things. They can navigate, interact with, and contribute to electronic content and processes with substantially more ease.
The US Dept. of Justice outlines four pillars of website access aligned with the ADA Title III regulations:
- Provide text alternatives for non-text content like images, animations, captions for audio
- Create content and interface elements adaptable to assistive technologies – screen readers, Braille devices, voice recognition, etc.
- Use clear, simple presentation formats easier for those with cognitive disabilities
- Choose easy access media and limit flashing imagery that may trigger seizures
Earning Disabled Access Credit Tax Deductions
- Consult with customers with disabilities or employees with disabilities to identify website barriers.
- Perform an automated audit and manual code review against Web Accessibility Content Guidelines (or WCAG standards) – available to employers who wish to own businesses with ADA amenities.
- Develop a plan, timeline and budget for remediating issues and determining eligible access expenditures to realize a disabled tax credit.
- Link expenses to a qualified disabled access tax credit to prove reasonable accommodations online to individuals with disabilities.
- Maintain detailed ADA tax credit deduction records connecting improvements that prove to be easier for workers to access – via Internal Revenue Service reporting.
- Claim ADA tax credit benefits (with the help of gross receipts) when documenting and filing yearly ADA tax credit items on the IRS form.
- Check IRS tax credit expenditures for ADA compliance for a transportation tax deduction or renovation deductions for ADA part-time and full time employees.
How Improving ADA Standards Correlate to Better SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and website accessibility both aim to enhance the user experience for all audiences interacting online. Therefore, website managers can leverage SEO to boost access in various ways.
Improving ADA standards directly correlates with better SEO in several key areas. In turn, you receive more than just an ADA tax credit, you’ll also increase the credit and recognition for your business.
More Keyword Opportunities
ADA compliant websites incorporate alternative text, descriptions, captions, and metadata that search engines index. Maximizing these descriptive elements improves visibility for relevant keyword searches. Enhanced keywords also make content easier to understand for users of all abilities.
For example, detailed alt text interpretations of images and videos boost rankings in image searches. Captions expand indexing to include audio and video transcript text. Both of these tools help users with visual impairments better understand multimedia while serving SEO as well.
Higher Quality User Signals
ADA-compliant sites demonstrate a better user experience to search engine algorithms online. Factors like lower bounce rates, more time spent on pages, and higher engagement communicate value over time. Prioritizing inclusiveness earns rewards in search engine rankings.
Similarly, enhancing navigation flows and formatting for screen-reader and keyboard-only users reduces obstacles that would otherwise prompt exiting a site. Removing barriers leads to more page views and engagement overall.
Improved Site Architecture
Needless to say, building a site structure compliant with ADA access directly improves SEO. A logical information hierarchy, descriptive page titles, alt text, and metadata make it easier for search bots to index more content. Optimizing architecture for all users, including those reliant on assistive technologies, aligns with SEO best practices.
Relevant Trust Indicators
Google incorporates trust and authority signals into rankings, making efforts towards inclusion worthwhile. Achieving compliance and promoting ADA upgrades and credit incentives conveys social responsibility.
Businesses can further signal value-based priorities by:
- Associating sites with symbols of access – like the ADA logo
- Publicizing policies and commitments to serve disabled individuals
- Actively engaging advocacy groups online
- Seeking user feedback and suggestions for improvements
Promoting ADA compliance conveys trustworthiness. In turn, websites show increased click-through rates and conversions over time.
SEO Opportunities in Accessibility
Specific opportunities that leverage SEO for ADA individuals include:
- Placing keywords in alt text, emphasizing inclusiveness
- Featuring ADA pages detailing commitments
- Blogging about disability topics and the removal of barriers
- Enabling voice command optimization
- Learning about assistive technologies to improve SEO
- Conducting user testing with people with disabilities
- Training developers in ADA-friendly coding practices
- Designing websites with more white space and a hierarchical focus
- Improving color contrast and size/spacing of touch targets
- Streamlining navigation paths and page flows
- Sharing improvements and enabling dialogue
- Monitoring analytics for potential barriers
By interconnecting SEO and ADA initiatives, you can increase visits and strengthen your reputation as an online business. Your visitors will also notice and value your commitments over time. Coupling financial incentives, such as the ADA tax credit, with purpose-driven development enables sustainable, ethical growth for your business.
Efforts to serve people with disabilities better conveys trust and authority for a business – both which are friendly signals to algorithms – always good for SEO.
Using SEO and other driving metrics enables sites to improve the lives of everyone who works or takes part in online activities. By taking this initiative, website business owners can make a major difference – realizing more value than merely ranking in the SERPs.
Your website accessibility is a major component for your growth as a business and how you file your taxes, or what deduction credits you receive. Businesses can benefit from each accessibility deduction and credit they record, especially when they direct their expenses toward SEO.
SEO plays a primary role today in web accessibility practices and the related expenditures, as well as barrier removal in website design. Whether you report a barrier removal tax deduction or have other federal tax incentives you want to deduct, such as the work opportunity tax credit, you are also making your website more available.
This availability extends to customers with disabilities and makes your site more accessible to workers as well. Whether businesses are trying to reduce transportation barriers or are attempting to help people negotiate more easily online, prioritizing access online and off-line is a win-win enterprise.