While the cost of health insurance continues to rise and employers have additional responsibilities in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act, there is still a tax benefit specifically for companies providing health insurance coverage. Specifically, employers may be eligible for the health insurance tax credit in 2015 for 50% of the cost of premiums contributed by a small business.
Which businesses are eligible?
If you own a small business and employ fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees, you may very well be eligible for the small business health insurance tax credit. It all depends on your employees’ average annual wages, and whether you pay part of their health care coverage. Along with considering the number of full-time equivalent employees you have, the credit requires that you pay at least half the cost of coverage for an individual employee, and employees’ average annual wages must fall below $51,600 if you want to qualify for the credit.
If you pay only a portion of the premium, and the employee picks up the rest, the tax credit is based only on the amount you paid. The amount counting toward the credit also is limited by the average amount of premium you would have paid as part of your state’s small group market.
Businesses that employ no more than 10 full-time equivalent workers and pay average annual wages of $25,800 or less can receive the largest credit. The amount of the credit is phased, so those who employ more than 10 workers or pay salaries averaging above $25,800 receive a smaller tax credit.
What does this mean for my income tax return?
The amount of the credit is included as part of the general business credit on your tax return. So if you have a business with 10 or fewer employees who earn an average of less than $25,800 per year, and you cover their complete insurance premiums, you can receive the full tax credit. That means in 2011 if your health insurance contribution is $100,000, you can get a $50,000 tax credit. Please note that a business may claim the credit for only two consecutive tax years, beginning with the first taxable year in or after 2014 in which it attaches a Form 8941 to its income tax return.
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