The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing to discuss the relative unpopularity of the Small Business Health Tax Credit that is part of the health care reform law.

The hearing on Tuesday came in response to a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which found that as of mid-May 2011, just over 228,000 taxpayers had claimed the credit, totaling more than $278 million in claims (see Claims for Small Business Health Tax Credit Much Lower than Expected). The Congressional Budget Office had originally estimated that taxpayers would claim up to $2 billion worth of Small Business Health Care Tax Credits for tax year 2010 and the cost would be $37 billion over 10 years. The tax credit is intended to help small businesses afford the cost of health insurance, but many tax preparers have found it difficult to calculate and apply to their clients’ situations.

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