U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) called on the leaders of H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, the nation's two largest tax preparers, to take immediate action to help small business owners take full advantage of new tax cuts for companies that provide health insurance to their employees. Many small business owners may not be aware that they are now eligible to receive up to a 35 percent tax cut on the money they spend on health insurance premiums. Senator Stabenow authored the amendment, which was included in the healthcare reform law that made this provision take effect for the 2010 tax year. Nearly 1.2 million small businesses across the country could benefit from this provision this year.
"Over 100,000 small businesses in Michigan are providing health insurance for their employees, and this tax cut will help their bottom line this year," said Senator Stabenow. "I worked to make sure these tax cuts were available to small businesses right away, so they can continue providing insurance for their employees and their families. Now, we need to make sure that tax preparers are giving them the information they need to take full advantage of these new tax rules when they file their 2010 returns."
"Healthcare reform has been a job creator at my 100 year old downtown mom and pop garden store," said Mark Hodesh, the owner of Downtown Home and Garden in Ann Arbor. "The 30% tax credit we will receive this year was a god-send in view of the 300% health care cost increase we faced over the past 10 years and gave me the means to hire a new employee last spring. As it turned out 2010 was our busiest year ever and we wouldn't have been able to handle the increase without the new hire to help. The tax credit not only helped to create a job, it helped our business to grow."
According to a recent Forbes Magazine article, many of the major health insurance companies are reporting significant increases in small businesses offering health care benefits to their employees. Senator Stabenow joined Senators Reid, Durbin, Schumer, Baucus, Begich and Murray in sending the letter to the two companies.