Since 2010, certain small businesses – specifically, those that cover at least 50 percent of premiums for their employees (not including dependents) and have fewer than 25 full-time employees whose average annual wages are less than $50,000 – have been able to receive a small business health care tax credit. This sliding tax credit is available for two consecutive taxable years and the maximum value is 50 percent of premiums paid by small businesses. To qualify, the small business must purchase coverage through the SHOP. The amount of the tax credit is only based on your employer’s contribution to premiums, and it is up to your employer to determine how to use the money.
However, if your offer of employer-sponsored health insurance is unaffordable or does not provide adequate protection against cost-sharing, you may be eligible for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions if you purchase coverage on your own in the health insurance marketplace. (IRS, Small Business Health Care Tax Credit and the SHOP Marketplace; 26 C.F.R. § 1.36B-6).