ObamaCare Tax Credit Myth

Promoted from the diaries by Caleb.

Being somewhat of a libertarian, I wasn’t a supporter of ObamaCare. However, a few months after passage, a postcard arrived which led me to believe there may be a benefit coming to my small firm. The mailing from the Treasury Department touted a generous 35% tax credit to firms with less than 25 full-time employees averaging less than $50K per year in wages — that’s us! In fact, we’re right in the sweet spot with 17 full-time employees earning approximately $42,000 per year.

Here is a copy of the postcard.

I did a quick calculation and figured our tax credit should be about $28,000. That is 35% of the $80K we expect to spend this year on employee health care premiums. I phoned our health insurance broker and inquired whether anything special had to be done, not wanting to be excluded by some technicality. He reported there was no special requirements — more good news.

Then, a week ago I received an email from the NFIB with a link to an on-line calculator helpful in determining the tax credit. I plugged in our numbers, the ones described above, and pressed “update” to yield a calculation of ZERO — zip, nadda!

Double-checking, I tried again and again, finally concluding that the 35% tax credit will only be available to firms with ten employees averaging $25K per year. Increasing either measurement, number of employees or average salary, will greatly diminish the magnitude of the tax credit. I created the chart shown below which diagrams the limits of the “generous” tax break.

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