Author Archives: NC SBTDC


A Plea to Small Employers

The one thing we know for certain about the Affordable Care Act is things will change. That change will likely come in many forms and it will be different (welcome, unwelcome, scary, wonderful) depending on who’s talking. Even though as small employers, those with fewer than 50 employees, we may not see a direct impact, there’s no doubt in the world that the change will effect us too.

Health insurance is a big deal. And it’s a big cost for everyone. As more people enter the system, the youngest and most healthy will likely have to pay more to maintain coverage, but on the whole, costs should become more affordable for those in the most need.

So here is my plea. If you don’t currently offer health insurance to your employees, keep an open mind. Keep track of rates and potential costs. You never know at what point it starts to make sense. And also, remember that you don’t have to pay 100% of the premiums in order to qualify. If you pay 50% or more, then that’s one box you’ve checked and you’re on your way to being eligible.


We’re Getting More Social!

The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit wants to start some conversations. We’re using Twitter and LinkedIn to push out various tips and point you to a range of resources associated with the credit.

twitter-bird-light-bgsTo follow us on Twitter, our handle is:

LinkedIn_Logo60pxTo connect with us on LinkedIn, go to:

YoutubeAnd be sure to check out out new video on YouTube (It’s on this site too):
Watch Our Video

We hope you’ll join us. And we hope you’ll be part of the conversation that leads to more small business owners taking advantage of this credit!


Take Advantage of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

I don’t know about you, but I love watching how-to videos. I’ve learned how to perform simple plumbing tasks, how to adjust my ceiling fans so they don’t shake, and even how to build a proper french drain for my yard.

I bet you can guess where this is going, right? For those interested in the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, we’ve got an outstanding resource for you in the form of a seven minute video. In less time than it takes to cook instant rice on the stove, you can have a solid understanding of this important and potentially lucrative tax credit.  If you can’t wait any longer, click here to view the video.

Including information on the credit’s history and plans for the future (increasing to a maximum credit of up to 50% in 2014), this video gives step by step instructions to allow you to quickly determine your eligibility. It also includes a great testimonial from Ms. Sherry Watkins, co-owner of Custom Hydraulics & Design. Her Charlotte-based small business has been able to take advantage of the credit over the last few years, and in my opinion, that’s great for her. Custom Hydraulics & Design provides an incredibly important benefit for its employees. One that comes with a fair amount of expense, and if a credit is available to help offset that expense, then you take advantage of it. Plain and Simple.

So again, take a few minutes to view this great “How-To” video on the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. It may not show you how to build a French Drain, but you may just save a few thousand dollars!




Among Change There Remains A Constant.

I was attending an event about a month ago where hospitality executives were getting together to meet, greet and talk shop. As you might imagine, a significant point of focus was healthcare reform, and what it would mean for their bottom lines. Even with experts in place to lead presentations and facilitate discussion, there were still a lot of unanswered questions.

Well, I’m here to tell you one thing that isn’t going to change for the upcoming tax year. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. Just as it has been in the previous three years, small employers can quality for a credit of up to 35% of their eligible healthcare expenses. If I’ve said it once (and if you’re reading this, you know I have), I’ve said it a dozen times. This credit can mean substantial savings – so don’t miss out on it.

OK, so now I have a confession to make. And it’s a good one. I said the health care credit isn’t changing for the 2013 tax year, but it is changing for 2014. It’s actually GOING UP!! Instead of a max credit of 35% in 2013, in 2014 the max credit will be 50% of eligible expenses. 35% is big. Really big. But 50% is HUGE.


Attention Small Business Employees!

While many of the posts on this site are geared toward small business owners, we think you—the employee—also have a role to play in raising the awareness of this credit.

Keep in mind, we’re not suggesting you become pushy with your boss, or demand health coverage, but what if your company doesn’t know about this credit?

Here’s an idea, find a time when your boss isn’t busy and have a quick conversation about the credit. You might even consider saying something like “ I just read about this small business health care tax credit. It’s designed to help companies like ours offset the high cost of insurance. Have you heard about this? For those eligible, it looks pretty substantial. If you’re interested, just check out

And leave it there. You never know why a small business owner doesn’t provide insurance, it’s possible there simply isn’t enough money to keep the lights on and provide coverage. So don’t push too hard. Just making them aware of the credit may be enough to push them over the edge.


Check Out Our New Tip Sheet

Thanks to a real interest in learning more about the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, we’ve developed a companion piece to the existing tri-fold brochure—it’s a one-page “Tip Sheet” that can easily be printed, emailed or otherwise shared with friends, colleagues, your CPA, etc.

While it does share some of the same content as the brochure, it also includes several Frequently Asked Questions and of course a link to this website where more detailed information can be found. Our hope is that these materials will lead to a better understanding of the credit and also enable you to speak with the appropriate people about why you (or they) should take advantage of the tax credit.

ByNC SBTDC A Year Round Resource

We’ve made a conscious decision to keep posting stories and ideas on this site even after the end of tax season. The reason why is simple; tax time will come around again before you know it and we want to be sure that those eligible to receive the credit know about it and take advantage of it.

The upcoming year will result in a lot of change for the insurance industry. While many of the mandatory requirement components of the Health Care Reform Act will more directly impact larger employers, the indirect impacts including likely cost increases will undoubtedly impact small business owners.

If you’re not taking advantage of the credit, please consult your tax advisor. And remember, if you find that you are eligible for the credit and haven’t been taking advantage of it in recent years, it may be worthwhile to revisit your previous years tax returns.

The small business health care tax credit was designed to help small business owners—the backbone of the American economy—don’t miss out on it.


It’s Not Too Late!

April 15th has come and gone, yet we’re still here, talking about the benefits of the small business healthcare tax credits. Even though this might seem a little strange, it’s really not. The reason why is that the federal government allows you to revisit and refile tax returns for the previous three years. That could be huge for small businesses that haven’t yet taken advantage of this credit!

Just imagine. You’ve been eligible to receive this credit, but you only recently learned about it. Check out the How it Works page, and be sure to use the credit calculator at the bottom of the page. If you qualify for a decent credit, say it’s as much as a couple of thousand dollars, and you haven’t used the credit in the prior three years (years 2010, 2011 and 2012) you may be able to adjust your return can create a huge credit.

Yes there will be CPA fees associated with refiling, but if you’re eligible, the cost to refile may pale in comparison to the credit itself. You owe it to yourself, your company and your employees to take advantage of it!


A Helping Hand for Small Business

Everyone else is doing it, so I did too!

While this sounds like a child’s excuse to a question from a concerned parent, in this case it’s not. It’s simply a way to make a point. Tens of thousands of small businesses are taking advantage of the lucrative small business healthcare tax credit. But unfortunately tens of thousands are not. And that’s like leaving money on the table—in some cases thousands of dollars a year.

In today’s post, we want to show you how a wide range of companies from all across the nation are benefitting from the credit. A quick Google search turned up examples recorded on websites like Crain’s Chicago Business, CNNMoney and

  • Nan Warshaw, co-owner of Bloodshot Records, an independent record label in Chicago, IL, saved $6,000 in 2010. (Crain’s Chicago Business, 2012)
  • Louisa McQueeney, general manager and chief financial officer of a small, family-owned gift and food shipping company with 4 employees in Palm Beach, FL received $7,400 in 2011. (, 2012)
  • Virginia Donohue of Pet Camp in San Francisco, CA offers health insurance to her 19 workers and qualified for a credit of $7,000 in 2010 and close to $8,000 in 2011. (, 2012)
  • Proving that non-profit organizations can also take advantage of the credit, the Masonic Shriners International of Orlando, FL received a credit of $3,500 in 2011. (CNNMoney, 2012)

The tax savings are out there, and in many cases they’re significant. Don’t pay more than you have to… consult your tax professional to determine if you’re eligible!


No Refund? Me Neither.

I remember when I got my first job after college. I wasn’t making much, but it was way more than I’d ever made before. Next thing you know, the first of the year rolled around and all of a sudden it was tax time. Very much to my surprise, I got a pretty darn big refund (relatively speaking). The next year, I was excited to do my taxes because I was ready to spend my refund check.

Funny how things change. Like most small business owners, the days of me getting a refund are long gone. For full disclosure, I’m a DINK—Dual Income, No Kids—so nowadays I pretty much dread April 15th. And this brings me to the point of this blog. Finally, right? I accept that it is my duty to pay taxes. But I also understand that there are very real ways to legally reduce my total tax bill.

Enter the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. This credit – please remember the huge difference between a credit and a deduction – can prove incredibly valuable to small businesses that provide health insurance to employees. A small business with 10 employees (at an average wage of 28,000) that pays $200 per month per employee towards premiums could be eligible for a credit of as much as $7392. That’s a long way from pocket change. In fact, that credit covers more than 30% of the $24,000 in premiums paid by the employer over the course of the year, effectively taking the cost of insurance from $24,000 to $16,608.

If you’re a small business owner that provides health insurance, you deserve to be rewarded. Guess what, this credit is part of it. If you qualify, please be sure to take advantage of it.