New Resource Can Help Employers Get a Last Minute Tax Credit

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

For those employers who have waited until the last minute to file their taxes, the countdown is on. September 15 is the deadline for small business owners who filed extensions to finally pay the piper. But it’s not all bad news. Entrepreneurs who act quickly have the opportunity to pocket some extra cash by taking advantage of health care tax credits.

Created under provisions of the new health care reform law, the small business tax credit is designed specifically to offset the cost of health insurance for the job-creators America depends on most—small business owners. In California, nearly 80 percent of all small businesses are eligible for the credit. Employers who’ve requested an extension on their taxes have until September 15 to file returns, while sole proprietors have until October 17. While that may not seem like much time, there’s a new resource available for California small businesses that clearly explains the ins-and-outs of health insurance and helps determine tax credit eligibility. Business owners who have already filed their 2010 taxes may still be able to claim by filing an amended tax return. For those who don’t qualify for the credit this tax year, it will still be available in years to come.

To help small businesses determine if they’re eligible, Small Business Majority released the California Health Coverage Guide on September 13—a comprehensive website featuring everything California small business owners need to know about health insurance that includes a tax credit calculator; a handy tool for entrepreneurs who want to file for a tax credit immediately.

Virginia Donohue of San Francisco is a small business owner who has already benefited from the tax credit. The owner of Pet Camp said, “I have really been hanging on the last couple of years, waiting for reform.” Health insurance became so expensive for her business that Virginia inevitably had “nowhere left to go. I already have the highest co-pay you can buy.” Her $8,000 tax credit has shown Virginia that health reform is starting to work. Employers like her, who for decades have prided themselves on offering insurance, can be found all across the country.

The Coverage Guide will be an excellent resource for busy employers who are looking for a quick tax credit estimate this week, but the website’s impact will reach far beyond the September 15 deadline. Along with the tax credit calculator, the guide offers comprehensive information on all matters health care, meant to simplify the task of researching health insurance so small business owners have more time to focus on boosting business.

Small businesses are the nation’s most prolific job creators, and for this reason they need all the support they can get to put our economy back on the right track. Being prepared for forthcoming changes as the Affordable Care Act is implemented is crucial to small business owners who can get ahead by taking advantage of all it has to offer. These important tax credits make smart business sense and are good for everyone’s bottom line.

For more direction on claiming the credit, even if you’ve already filed your taxes, check out this information from the Department of Health and Human Services.