Walker explains Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program

Published 6:46 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Georgia residents have the option in 2017 to take advantage of the SB 258 Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit bill passed by the state legislature to help rural hospitals face the many challenges they now have.. Memorial Hospital and Manor CEO Billy Walker explained the program at Rotary this week.

He said that individual taxpayers can receive a tax credit against Georgia income taxes for contributions made to a qualified rural hospital organization of 70 percent of the amount contributed, or $2,500 per tax year. Married filing jointly, taxpayers can receive a tax credit of 70 percent of the amount contributed, or $5,000 per tax year, whichever is less.

“C” corporation taxpayers, can receive 70 percent of the actual amount contributed, or 75 percent of the corporation’s income tax liability, whichever is less.

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In order to qualify, a hospital must be in a community with a population under 35,000, providing patient services, participating in Medicaid and Medicare, and submit a five-year plan that details their financial viability and stability, including a narrative of the challenges they face and how they will use contributions to address them.

Walker said Memorial Hospital is one of 49 hospitals in the state that has been identified as qualified to participate in the program.

He said the cap on what each hospital can receive from the tax credits each year is $4 million each calendar year. The bill requires hospitals to use donations for the provision of health-care related services. Those uses include, operating expenses, payments on short-term or long-term debt, purchase of capital equipment, renovations or improvements to healthcare facilities, etc. etc.

When a Rotarian asked Walker what it would mean to our hospital to receive $4 million dollars, Walker replied, “I could spend it in about 10 minutes.”

He explained that Memorial hospital has joined with the Georgia Heart Hospital Program, along with 23 other hospitals for assistance in administering the program, the processing, tracking and reporting of contributions.

Walker said persons interested in taking advantage of the donation program, can easily do so by going to www.georgiaheart.org. and click on Donate. Submit a preapproval and on the first business day of 2017, Georgia HEART will submit the pre-approval form to the Georgia Department of Revenue. Within 60 days of receiving the approval from the Ga. Dept. of Revenue, you make your check payable to Memorial Hospital and Manor and mail it to Georgia Heart at Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 200, Atlanta GA 30328. Wait for confirmation of the donation, then submit confirmation through the GTC account.

Georgia Heart will send a tax receipt for tax filing purposes. It can also be declared on the federal tax return.

Hospital personnel and Georgia Heart will be conducting ongoing educational programs to help make the public aware of the benefits.