The recent health care reform legislation included a new health care tax credit for certain small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees.
FORT WORTH, Texas - The recent health care reform legislation included a new health care tax credit for certain small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees.
The credit is available to small companies and tax-exempt organizations for the years of 2010 – 2013. Companies with 25 or fewer full-time employees with an average wage of $50,000 or less are eligible if the company pays a minimum of 50 percent of its employees coverage. The credit is phased out based on size and salaries of the company. Companies with 10 or fewer employees with an average wage of $25,000 will receive the highest credit of 35 percent of premiums paid. This credit increases to 50 percent in 2014.
Note: The credit is claimed on the business tax return and NOT on the employment tax returns.
If an owner of a business also provides services to it, the owner does count as an employee.
A sole proprietor, a partner in a partnership, a shareholder owning more than two percent of an S corporation and any owner of more than five percent of other businesses are not considered employees for purposes of the credit. Thus, the wages or hours of these business owners and partners are not counted in determining either the number of full time employees or the amount of average annual wages; so the premiums paid on their behalf are not counted in determining the amount of the credit. It is strongly advised you speak with your accountant to determine which is the best route for your company
A list of changes by year:
Penalties for using Flexible Spending Accounts incorrectly will increase from 10 percent to 20 percent.
Earned Income Medicare tax will increase from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent in 2013 on individuals earning over $200,000 or couples over $250,000.
A plan to provide a vehicle for small businesses to offer tax-free benefits will be created. This would ease the small employer's administrative burden of sponsoring a cafeteria plan.
Contributions to flexible savings accounts will be limited to $2,500 per year, indexed by the Consumer Price Index in subsequent years.
A new unearned (Passive) Income Medicare tax of 3.8 percent for individuals earning over $200,000 or couples over $250,000 will be imposed.
Income Threshold deduction for unreimbursed medical expenses will increase from 7.5 percent to 10 percent for those under 65. This means that only when your medical bills are greater than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income will you be able to deduct them from your taxable income. Individuals older than 65 can still claim the 7.5 percent deduction through 2016. This can make quite a difference in the amount of after tax income you need to pay out on medical expenses.
The hospital insurance tax will increase 0.9 percentage points for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married filing jointly), and it includes net investment income.
A 2.9 percent excise tax on the first sale of medical devices will be established. Exceptions are eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids or other items for individual use.
Primary care doctors would get a Medicaid payment boost in the reconciliation bill. Beginning in 2013 and 2014, the doctors' payment rates would be on par with Medicare rates, which typically are about 20 percent higher than Medicaid.
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