LivingSocial May Lose D.C. Tax Incentives Over Headcount

A year after the District of Columbia approved up to $32.5 million in tax breaks for LivingSocial, the deals site still doesn’t have the headcount required to cash in on any of the incentives, reports The Washington Post.

LivingSocial LogoAt the time the incentives were offered, LivingSocial had nearly 1,000 employees at six offices in D.C., nearly half of them living in the district. LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy had projected that number would double in the next few years

But last November, the company was reported to be laying off 400 workers, 160 of them in D.C.

Now the site has just 602 employees in Washington, 244 of them residents. To claim the incentives, which go into effect next October, the company must have at least 1,000 employees in D.C. and a consolidated head­quarters of at least 200,000 square feet. The company is “actively working” on it, Sara Parker, head of communications, told the Post in an email.

In September, LivingSocial executives said they would be hiring “a couple hundred” people across departments such as engineering, sales, finance and marketing. The company has posted positions including senior visual designer and senior data center engineer.

Last month, the company also said it wants to move away from daily deals, focusing instead on a website and mobile app through which people can browse thousands of offers. Writer Jason Del Rey at AllThingsD, however, thinks the company has an identity crisis, and criticizes its new features as knockoffs of Groupon and online coupon site RetailMeNot.

LivingSocial has also joined Microsoft and other companies in creating the The CardLinx Association, a group of businesses focused on linking offers to credit cards.

One Response to “LivingSocial May Lose D.C. Tax Incentives Over Headcount”

  1. I am not surprised they lied to get the tax break.
    They lie to merchants all the time to get them to do a deal with them and then they run a special 10 minute deal at a lower than agreed upon price, unknown by or approved by the merchant. They also allow competitors to piggy on your deal, of course at a price lower than yours, although they personally assure you this will not happen. Why should they get $32,5 million tax break? What about the consumers and the merchants? Where are their tax breaks?