Although virtually all business owners are aware of the
recently-enacted health care reform law, many do not know that tax credits for
small businesses that provide health insurance to their workers take
effect this year. In
Under the law, companies with no more than 25 workers, and whose average salaries are less than $50,000, are eligible for a tax credit of up to 35 percent of the employer’s contribution for health insurance premiums. The maximum credit for non-profit small businesses is 25 percent. Companies must pay 50 percent of its employees’ health care premiums to qualify for the credit. Almost 80 percent of small businesses are expected to qualify for the credit. There are approximately 4 million small businesses nationwide.
The credit was designed as an incentive for more companies to offer health benefits to their employees. Small companies typically pay 18 percent more for insurance than large companies. The credits will last until 2014, when health insurance exchanges will be available to help small businesses provide health insurance to employees.
Under the new law, companies with at least 50 employees will have to pay penalties if they do not offer health insurance to workers.