IRS released final guidance for small employers eligible to claim the new small business health care tax credit for the 2010 tax year. The credit is generally available to small employers that pay at least half of the premiums for single health insurance coverage for their employees. Small businesses can claim the credit for 2010 through 2013 and for any two years after that. For the first three years, the maximum credit is 35% of premiums paid by eligible small businesses and 25% of premiums paid by eligible tax-exempt organizations. Beginning in 2014, the maximum credit will increase to 50% of premiums paid by eligible small business employers and 35% for eligible tax-exempt organizations.
The maximum credit goes to smaller employers-those with 10 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees – paying annual average wages of $25,000 or less. The credit is completely phased out for employers who have 25 or more FTEs or that pay average wages of $50,000 or more per year. Because the eligibility rules are based in part on the number of FTEs, not the number of employees, employers that use part-time workers may qualify even if they employ more than 25 individuals.
Eligible small businesses will first use Form 8941 to figure the credit and then include the amount of the credit as part of the general business credit on its tax return.
FTE is calculated by taking total hours worked by all employees (whether they received benefits or not) for the year and dividing by the total number of employees.
Annual average wages is calculated by taking total wages/salary expense for all employees (whether they receive benefits or not) by the FTE.
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