According to the Treasury Department, small businesses in the U.S will be able to take advantage of a new federal tax credit for dental and vision health benefits. To qualify the business must have less than 25 employees, have average wages less than $50,000 and must pay for at least 50% of employees’ premiums.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the credit will offset employer health-care premiums paid on and after Jan. 1, 2010, under health-care legislation signed in March by President Barack Obama.
Firms may claim state health tax credits and other subsidies without having their federal health-care tax credit reduced, said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Michael Mundaca in a conference call with reporters.
Some small-business advocates criticized the tax credit Monday as too limited in scope. Bill Rys, tax counsel for the National Federation of Independent Business, said more than two-thirds of small firms will be excluded because they are too large or don't currently offer health insurance.
Eligibility for the credit is limited to firms with fewer than 25 full-time workers, or the equivalent, and average wages of less than $50,000. To qualify, firms must pay at least 50% of worker health-insurance premiums.