IRS Releases Form to Help Small Business Claim Health Care Tax Credit

The Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday released a draft version of the form that small businesses will use to calculate their health-care tax credit when filing next year’s income tax returns.

The tax credit, part of the Affordable Care Act passed earlier this year, is generally available to small businesses that contribute an amount equivalent to at least half the cost of single coverage toward buying health insurance for their employees.

Starting in 2014, small businesses will be able to buy insurance for employees through state-based health insurance exchanges. The tax credit is an interim step.

A new report from the Commonwealth Fund says the tax credit and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act will benefit small businesses by narrowing what it says is an 18 percent difference in health insurance costs between large and small businesses. It also says that as many as 16.6 million people are employed by companies eligible for the credit.

The Commonwealth Fund website bills the group as “a private foundation working toward a high performance health system.”

The draft of form 8941 is available on the IRS website. Additional information about the tax credit, including a step-by-step guide and answers to frequently asked questions, is available on the IRS’s Affordable Care Act page. Tax Provisions of the Affordable Care Act are available here.

The final version of the form and its instructions will be available later this year.

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