The recent health care legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama contains a Small Business Health Care Tax Credit that will help small businesses with the cost of providing their employees with health care. The tax credit’s benefits are available immediately for the 2010 tax year.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, small businesses are expected to save an estimated $40 billion by 2019, due to the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. The tax credit is effective retroactive to January 1st, 2010 and covers up to 35% of a small business’s premiums, with the rate increasing to 50% on January 1st, 2014.
Although non-profit organizations are eligible for the credit, they will receive a lower percentage. Tax exempt organizations will be able to receive up to a 25% tax credit in 2010, which will be raised to 35% in 2014.
The tax credit has broad eligibility, covering 4 million small businesses. Any business that pays at least 50% of employee health care costs, employs the equivalent of 25 or fewer fulltime workers (allowing eligibility for companies with 50 part-time workers), and pays an average employee salary of $50,000 or less (not including owners and their family members) will be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.
The maximum credit of 35% is available for small businesses with 10 or fewer fulltime workers and an average salary of $25,000 or less. For businesses that pay employees between an average of $25,000 and $50,000, the tax credit gradually phases out. The gradual phase out also applies to businesses that employ an equivalent of 10 to 25 full time workers (20 to 50 part time workers).
Businesses are able to claim the credit for a total of six years. They will be eligible to claim the credit for four years, from 2010 to 2013, and then any two years after the 2013 date.
To keep businesses from abusing the system by picking a high-cost plan, the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit will only be eligible for the average health insurance cost of the state where the business is located. This information will be provided by the IRS at a later date.
For more information, refer to the IRS website.