Tax Credit for Small Business Health Insurance

If you are a small business owner, you are the backbone of America.  It is estimated that 52% of US workers are employed by a small business.  And many of these small businesses have not been able to afford health insurance benefits for their employees in the past.  Just keeping the business going has been a feat in and of itself for many companies.  Recent health care reform has taken a step to make it easier for a small business to offer health insurance to their employees.  This should be a good thing for many people since having affordable health insurance is an important part of personal financial planning.

Small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees now qualify for a
special tax credit (up to 35%), due to recent health care reform legislation.  The
credit, provided under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is designed to
encourage small employers to offer health insurance for the first time, or maintain
coverage they already have.

Who is eligible?

Groups with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees are eligible.  The employer
must pay for at least half of the employees health insurance premiums (can include
dental and vision coverage) and must pay out less than $50,000 in average annual
wages to employees.  The total number of employees does not include the business
owner or family members.

Can an employer with 25 or more employees qualify for the credit of some of
the employees are part-time?

Yes.  Because the limitation on the number of employees is based on Full-Time
Employees, and employer with 25 or more employees could qualify for the credit if
some of its employees work part-time.  For example, an employer with 46 half-time
employees (meaning they are paid wages for 1,040 hours) has the equivalent of 23
Full-Time Employees and therefore may qualify for the credit.

How does the employer claim the credit?

The credit is claimed on the employer’s annual income tax return.

Where can an employer find out more?

Beginning in early June 2010, anyone can call Turning Point Benefits Group at 704-
887-4984 to find out more information and see if they qualify for this credit.  You can
also visit
www.irs.gov to get more details.

How long will this tax credit be available to small businesses?

The tax credit is effective for the 2010 tax year, and is currently scheduled to run
through 2014.  In 2014 the tax credit increases from 35% to 50% for qualifying
businesses.

Can other organizations qualify for the credit?

Tax exempt organizations can also qualify for the tax credit.  Those organizations can
earn up to a 25% credit for the same guidelines as the small business.  That rate
increases to 35% on Jan. 1, 2014.

How would the tax credit look in real dollar amounts?

The Internal Revenue Service provided the following fictional business as an example:

Main Street Mechanic, an automobile repair shop with 10 employees, can get
$24,500 in tax credits for 2010.

Here’s how:

Employees:  10

Annual Employee health care costs:  $70,000

Wages:  $250,000 total, or about $25,000 per employee

Tax Credit for 2010:  $24,500

Tax Credit for 2014:  $35,000

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