U.S. tech training tax credit bill introduced

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) cheered the introduction of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives last week that would allow many U.S. taxpayers, including employers and laid-off workers, to receive a tax credit of up to US$4,000 a year for technology training.

The Technology Retraining And Investment Now Act of 2004, known as the TRAIN Act, would allow the tax credit on qualified expenses used for technology-related training. Workers could get 50 per cent of their training costs reimbursed each year, getting up to US$4,000 back. In some economically poor areas, workers could get up to US$5,000 of training costs given back in the tax credit.

The credit could be used by employed and unemployed workers, as well as employers.

CompTIA, a provider of IT certification programs, praised the legislation as way for U.S. technology workers to remain competitive with other U.S. workers as well as workers abroad. “ICT (information and communications technology) skills are today’s raw materials, not unlike lumber, bricks and steel,” said Martin Bean, chairman of CompTIA’s U.S. public policy committee, and chief operating officer of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers Inc. “They’re the infrastructure America needs to keep the U.S. on top.”

CompTIA, in a statement, said the TRAIN Act can help U.S. workers better compete when some software programming and other IT jobs are being moved to countries with cheaper labour.

The TRAIN Act, sponsored by Representative Jerry Weller, can be assigned to employers by employees. It allows the tax credit for expenses related to course work, certification testing and other training costs.

“Investment in computer education and information technology skills training is the best long-term solution to meet the shortage of skilled IT workers and keep technology-based jobs here in the United States,” Weller, an Illinois Republican, said in a statement. “This initiative will train U.S. workers for better jobs here in the U.S.”

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