Do you own or run a small business or tax-exempt group with fewer than 25 full–time employees? If you do, you should know that the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit can help you provide insurance to your employees. You may be able to save on your taxes if you paid for at least half of their health insurance premiums. Here are several things that you should know about this important credit:

  • Maximum Credit. For tax years beginning in 2014 and after, the maximum credit is 50 percent of premiums paid by small business employers. The limit is 35 percent of premiums paid by tax-exempt small employers, such as charities.
  • Number of Employees. You may qualify if you had fewer than 25 employees who work full–time, or a combination of full–time and part-time. For example, two half-time employees equal one full–time employee for purposes of the credit.
  • Qualified Health Plan. You must have paid premiums for your employees enrolled in a qualified health plan offered through a Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, Marketplace. There are limited exceptions to this requirement.
  • Average Annual Wages. To qualify for the credit, the average annual wages of your full–time equivalent employees must have been less than $51,000 in 2014. The IRS will adjust this amount for inflation each year.
  • Half the Premiums. You must have paid a uniform percentage of the cost of premiums for all employees. The amount you paid must be equal to at least 50 percent of the premium cost of the insurance coverage for each employee.
  • Two Year Limit. An eligible employer may claim the credit for any two-consecutive taxable years, beginning in or after 2014. This credit can be claimed for two consecutive years, even if you claimed the credit at any point from 2010 through 2013.
  • Tax Forms to Use. All employers use the Form 8941, Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums, to calculate the credit. For-profit businesses claim the credit on Form 3800, General Business Credit. Tax-exempt organizations claim it on Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return.

If you are a for-profit business and the credit is more than your tax liability for the year, you can carry the unused credit back or forward to other tax years. If you are a tax-exempt employer, you may be eligible to receive the credit as a refund. This applies so long as it does not exceed your income tax withholding and Medicare tax liability for the year.

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Upcoming Tax Dates

February 10 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the fourth quarter of 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Certain small employers
File Form 944 to report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Farm employers
File Form 943 to report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Federal unemployment tax
File Form 940 for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during January, report them to your employer Details

February 15 — All businesses
Give annual information statements to recipients of certain payments you made during 2017 Details

February 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in January.

February 15 — All employers
Begin withholding income tax from the pay of any employee who claimed exemption from withholding in 2017, but did not give you Form W4 to continue the exemption this year.

February 15 — Individuals
If you claimed exemption from income tax withholding last year on the Form W-4, you must file a new Form W-04 by this date to continue your exemption for another year Details

February 19 — Everyone
Federal Holiday (Washington's Birthday) Details

February 28 — All businesses
File information returns (for example, Forms 1099) for certain payments you made during 2017.

February 28 — Payers of gambling winnings.
File Form 1096 along with Copy A of all the Forms W2G you issued for 2017. If you file Forms W2G electronically, your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to 03-31. The due date for giving the recipient these forms remains 01-31.

February 28 — All employers
File Form W3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, along with Copy A of all the Forms W2 you issued for 2017. If you file Forms W2 electronically, your due date for filing them with the SSA will be extended to 03-31. The due date for giving the recipient these forms remains 01-31.

February 28 — Large food and beverage establishment employers
File Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips. Use Form 8027T, Transmittal of Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, to summarize and transmit Forms 8027 if you have more than one establishment. If you file Forms 8027 electronically, your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to 03-31.

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