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Published July 22, 2010, 12:00 AM

Most small businesses eligible for tax credits

A new report shows that 91.9 percent of small businesses in North Dakota and 84.3 percent of small businesses in Minnesota with fewer than 25 employees will be eligible for tax credits to help pay for the cost of employee health coverage.

By: Andi Murphy, INFORUM

A new report shows that 91.9 percent of small businesses in North Dakota and 84.3 percent of small businesses in Minnesota with fewer than 25 employees will be eligible for tax credits to help pay for the cost of employee health coverage.

The report released by Families USA shows that 15,200 small businesses with fewer than 25 employees in North Dakota qualify for the tax credit in 2010. At the same time, about 5,100 small businesses with 10 or fewer employees, with an employee income of less than $25,000 a year, qualify for a maximum tax credit of 35 percent, a news release from Families USA states.

In Minnesota, 77,900 businesses with fewer than 25 employees qualify for the tax credit and 22,800 are eligible for the maximum 35 percent credit.

The tax credit program is a key element of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

About 54 percent of small businesses don’t offer health insurance to their employees because 86 percent of them say it’s too expensive, John Arensmeyer said Wednesday during a teleconference on the Families USA report.

The CEO and founder of Small Business Majority, a nonprofit small-business advocate, said 72 percent of businesses that do offer health coverage say they can’t afford it.

In 2014, businesses that qualify for a maximum tax credit will be eligible for tax credits of up to 50 percent. Also in 2014, insurers cannot bill small employers higher prices based on pre-existing health conditions of their workers, Families USA stated.

Nationally, about 72 percent of small businesses offer workers health insurance and 95 percent of bigger businesses with 50 or more employees offer health coverage, Families USA states. An estimated 1.2 million of the 4.3 million small businesses in the country are eligible for maximum tax credits.

For more information about health care tax credits, visit, www.healthcare.gov.

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