Income Tax Benefits For Family Leave
The bill creates tax incentives to encourage employers to voluntarily support paid parental and medical leave programs for their eligible employees and to encourage eligible employees to save for time away from work during parental and medical leave.
Specifically, section 2 of the bill establishes leave savings accounts. A leave savings account is an account with a financial institution for which the individual uses money to pay for any expense while he or she is on eligible leave, which includes:
- The birth of a child of the individual and caring for the child;
- The placement of a child with the individual for adoption or foster care;
- Caring for a spouse, child, or parent of the individual if the spouse, child, or parent has a serious health condition;
- A serious health condition that makes the individual unable to perform the functions of the position of the individual;
- Time for an individual to care for himself or herself or to care for a parent or child after being a victim of domestic abuse; or
- Any qualifying exigency, as determined by the United States secretary of labor, arising out of the fact that a spouse, child, or parent of the individual is on covered active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty, in the United States armed forces.
An individual may annually contribute up to $5,000 of wages to a leave savings account. An employer may make a contribution to the employee's leave savings account in any amount. The department of health care policy and financing is required to establish a form for an individual to report information regarding leave savings accounts, and the individual must annually file this form with the department of revenue to be eligible for the tax benefit.
Section 3 allows an employee to claim a state income tax deduction for amounts they or their employer contribute to a leave savings account. A taxpayer is also allowed to deduct any interest or other income earned during the taxable year on the investment of money in their leave savings account.
Section 4 creates an income tax credit for an employer that pays an employee for leave that is between 8 and 12 weeks long. The leave must be for one of the same reasons for which an employee may use money in a leave savings account as specified above. The amount of the credit is equal to 15% of the amount paid, so long as the amount paid is at least 50% of the employee's regular salary for a specified time period.
Section 4 also creates an income tax credit for an employer that contributes to an employee's leave savings account. The amount of the credit is equal to 15% of the amount contributed to the account; except that a credit is not allowed for contributions to a leave savings account that exceed $3,000 in a single year.
Both credits are not refundable, but they may be carried forward up to 5 years.
The bill also specifies that for employers, an amount equal to the amount the taxpayer contributed to an employee's leave savings account and an amount equal to the amount the taxpayer paid in wages for an employee while on family leave, to the extent an income tax credit is claimed, will be added to the taxpayer's federal taxable income.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)