The Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit Incentive program gives small businesses in Massachusetts a state tax credit for having a certified employee wellness program.
Massachusetts businesses that employ 200 or fewer workers may qualify for a tax credit for up to 25% of the cost of implementing a certified wellness program for their employees. The maximum credit a business can apply for is $10,000 per year.
What is a Wellness Program?
In addition to providing a safe worksite that protects and promotes health, a wellness program is designed to improve the health and overall well-being of individual employees.
Employee wellness programs include:
- Identifying and addressing employee health needs and health risks
- Creating a work environment that is supportive of employee health and overall well-being
- Awareness and health education programs
- Behavioral change programs that support employees as they seek to live healthier lifestyles
To receive a Seal of Approval from DPH, your wellness program must also include eight essential components. Download the Wellness Tax Credit Program Guide , to review eligibility requirements and the eight components of a wellness program.
Eligibility for the Wellness Tax Credit
Massachusetts businesses are eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria:
- Employ 200 or fewer employees, the majority of whom work in the Commonwealth.
- Offer healthcare benefits to employees.
- Sole proprietorships, professions, trades, businesses, or partnerships are eligible to apply.
- Businesses must be in compliance with all legal obligations of employers including, but not limited to, those enumerated in Massachusetts General Laws (MGL), chapter 149, and with all applicable labor, licensing, and tax laws (including MGL c. 149, MGL c. 151, MGL c. 151A, MGL c. 152).
How to Apply
To qualify for the Wellness Tax Credit, your wellness program must be certified and receive a Seal of Approval from DPH.
To apply for certification:
- Complete an online application. Applications must be received before 5 PM on December 31, 2017. Please click here to begin the online application: Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit Certificate Application.
- Obtain your Certificate of Compliance from the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and email it to DPHWellness.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need assistance accessing your certificate, please visit www.mass.gov/dua or contact the Department of Unemployment Assistance at 617-626-5750.
If you make an error on your Wellness Tax Credit application, you are allowed to make corrections and resubmit before the December 31 application deadline. Corrections will not be accepted after the deadline.
If your wellness program is approved, a Seal of Approval with a Certificate number will be issued. Print out the certificate and submit with your annual tax return.
For More on the Wellness Tax Credit
- Wellness Tax Credit Regulations: The Wellness Tax Credit Incentive for small businesses is made possible through Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012. In April 2013, the Public Health Council approved final regulations for the Wellness Tax Credit: Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit Regulations
- Wellness Tax Credit Summary: DPH tracks utilization of the small business Wellness Tax Credit incentive each year. For a summary of year-by-year performance, please click the link below: Wellness Tax Credit Summary
- Model Wellness Guide: If your wellness program does not qualify or you wish to improve upon your existing wellness program, the Model Wellness Guide has a range of practical options: A Model Wellness Guide file size 11MB
You can also visit the DPH Worksite Wellness page for additional resources and tools to get you started on creating a Worksite Wellness Program.
If you have questions about the Wellness Tax Credit, including questions about certifying your wellness program, please contact DPHWellness.TaxCredit@State.ma.us.