Massachusetts employers who invest in new wellness programs for their employees may now qualify for a tax credit worth up to $10,000 in tax relief under the new Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit program that went into effect earlier this year. Certification requirements were released in June.
Passed into law in 2012, the Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit program is a state program available to employers whose primary place of business is in Massachusetts and has fewer than 200 employees. While each small business can receive up to $10,000, there is an annual credit limit of $15 million per year. The tax relief will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and applications must be submitted annually.
In order to qualify, businesses must offer health benefits to employees, must have a majority of employees working in Massachusetts, have no willful or repeat OSHA violations in the past five years, and must show a detailed implementation plan. In addition, an employer must be certified and receive a Seal of Approval from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health prior to filing for a wellness tax credit.
A wellness program must include a dedicated wellness champion, formal employee communications to promote the program, prioritization of employee health issues, and demonstrated data collection on employee health interests. At least 33% of employees must participate in at least one activity offered through the wellness program.
For more information on the Wellness Tax Credit, including information on the certification process for businesses, click here.