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Avoid This S Corporation Health Insurance Deduction Mistake

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If you have family members working for you in your S corporation, stop and read this article now.

In our SOUTH LOOP OF CHICAGO TAX PREPARATION office, when providing TAX PREPARATION FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS, we often see a common mistake being made amongst S-CORP owners.

Think of this: You own 100 percent of your S corporation. Your 30-year-old daughter works for your S corporation. She owns no stock. Your S corporation covers her with a group health policy. Did your S corporation claim an insurance deduction for the cost of the premiums attributable to your daughter? If yes, that’s wrong. The health insurance is not deductible by the S corporation as health insurance.

With the incorrect setup, your family is simply out the money it paid for the health insurance. This is bad. It means a zero deduction for the S CORPORATION and a lost health insurance deduction for your daughter.

If you own more than 2 percent of an S corporation, you have to do three things to claim a deduction for your health insurance:

  1. You must get the cost of the insurance on the S corporation’s books.
  2. Your S corporation must include the health insurance premiums on your W-2 form.
  3. You must (if eligible) claim the health insurance deduction as an above-the-line deduction on Form 1040.

The three-step procedure also applies (and this could be a surprise) to your spouse, children, grandchildren, and parents if they work for your S corporation and get health insurance coverage, even if they don’t own a single share of S corporation stock directly.

You need to get this right. Without the W-2 treatment, the S corporation does not get a tax deduction.

With the correct W-2 treatment, the more than 2 percent shareholder who finds the health insurance premiums on his or her W-2 can claim the self-employed health insurance deduction on Form 1040, provided he or she is not eligible for employer-subsidized health insurance through another job or a spouse’s job.

If you or your S corporation did not handle this correctly in the past, we need to get busy amending those returns to create and protect the proper tax deductions. If this is the situation, please call Howard Tax Prep LLC at 855-743-5765.

Although we’ve given you the basics, this is not an all-inclusive article. Should you have tax debt help questions, need Chicago business tax preparation, business entity creation, business insurance, or business compliance assistance please contact us online, or call our office toll free at 1-855-743-5765 or locally in Chicago or Indiana at 1-708-529-6604. Make sure to join our newsletter for more tips on reducing taxes, and increasing your wealth.


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