Starting or Relocating a Business Within California? Check out these Little-Known Tax and Setup Incentives

california.unsplashby Jennifer Grady, Esq.

The State of California offers numerous incentives and assistance programs to  businesses of all sizes and industries that are considering expansion into the Golden State, whether they plan to have 3, 50, or 20,000+ employees.

From tax breaks, to help with site selection, to employee training, and development bonds, there are numerous government-sponsored programs in place to help small to large businesses successfully transition to opening business in the state. Below are some examples of the types of business support available in California.

Programs and Services from GO-Biz, The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

 Site Selection AssistanceGO-Biz Logo (web)

GO-Biz will conduct a confidential site selection search on your behalf, or provide you with a broker to guide you through the local commercial real estate market.

In addition, GO-Biz will send out a Request for Information to city managers and economic development departments to obtain off-market information about city, state, and county-owned properties available for lease for discounted rates, even as little as $1.00 per year.

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Changes to the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

For tax years 2010 through 2013, the maximum tax credit for payment of health care premiums is 35% for small business employers, and 25% for small tax-exempt employers such as charities. In general, on January 1, 2014, the rate will increase to 50% and 35%, respectively.

Here’s what this means for you. If you pay $50,000 a year toward workers’ health care premiums – and if you qualify for a 15% credit, you save $7,500. If you save $7,500 a year from tax year 2010 through 2013, that’s total savings of $30,000. If, in 2014, you qualify for a slightly larger credit, say 20 percent, your savings go from $7,500 a year to $12,000 a year.

Even if you are a small business employer who did not owe tax during the year, you can carry the credit back or forward to other tax years. Also, since the amount of the health insurance premium payments are more than the total credit, eligible small businesses can still claim a business expense deduction for the premiums in excess of the credit. That’s both a credit and a deduction for employee premium payments.

There is good news for small tax-exempt employers too. The credit is refundable, so even if you have no taxable income, you may be eligible to receive the credit as a refund so long as it does not exceed your income tax withholding and Medicare tax liability.

If you can benefit from the credit this year but forgot to claim it on your tax return, there’s still time to file an amended return.

For examples of how the credit applies to different employer circumstances, click here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/small_business_health_care_tax_credit_scenarios.pdf

Please click the following link for more information on tax credits at the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=223666,00.html