The health insurance premium credit for small businesses has been available since 2010. According to a recent report, many businesses that qualify for this credit have failed to take it.
Even if your business hasn’t taken this credit in the past, you may want to look into it this year. For 2014, the credit increases from 35% to 50%. When you qualify, you can use the credit to offset your federal income tax liability by up to 50% of the cost of health insurance premiums you pay for employees.
Three general tests for eligibility are:
- Employing fewer than 25 “full-time equivalent” employees.
- Paying average annual wages of less than $50,000.
- Paying at least 50% of health insurance premiums for those employees.
Each test has specific requirements. For example, you may qualify for the credit, in full or in part, when you have more than 25 employees. That’s because “full-time equivalent” is based on hours your employees worked during the year.
In addition, some employees aren’t counted for purposes of the credit, such as seasonal staff who were on the payroll for less than 120 days. Other excluded workers are sole proprietors, owner/employees, and shareholders who own more than 2% of the stock of an S corporation.
For assistance in reviewing your eligibility for the credit, contact our office.