Taxpayers Can Apply for Tax Credit By Supporting Rural Hospitals
Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
For the third year in a row, Georgia taxpayers can earn income tax credits by supporting Phoebe Sumter and Phoebe Worth. Both hospitals qualify as rural hospital organizations (RHOs) under Georgia law and participate in the Georgia HEART (Helping Enhance Access to Rural Treatment) Program.
“During a time of unprecedented financial challenges for rural hospitals in Georgia, the state’s rural hospital tax credit has been an incredible benefit for Phoebe Worth and our patients,” said Kim Gilman, Chief Executive Officer, Phoebe Worth. “We have used donations to purchase new equipment and to renovate all our patient rooms. We are currently renovating the entire front part of our hospital which will improve access and efficiency and create a more welcoming environment.”
Future plans for Georgia HEART contributions at Phoebe Worth include renovating the rehabilitation unit, purchasing new patient beds and upgrading the hospital’s emergency power generator.
Phoebe Sumter has used donations through the tax credit program to renovate a pediatric practice, replace their portable x-ray equipment that speeds up ER times by doing x-rays at the bedside, and purchase equipment to establish a new cardiac rehab program. Future plans include upgrading additional x-ray units to digital systems that improve speed and image quality.
“This program is such a great way for people to support their community hospital. Phoebe Sumter is able to use the money for vital purchases and programs that benefit our patients, and the donors are able to direct their tax dollars to stay in their local community. It truly is a win-win,” said Brandi Lunneborg, Chief Executive Officer, Phoebe Sumter.
Individuals can earn a 100% tax credit for their contributions. During the first six months of the year, there are limits to how much individuals can donate ($5,000 for a single head of household; $10,000 for a married couple filing a joint return). During the second half of the year, those caps are lifted so individuals can donate up to their maximum state tax liability, as long as the $60 million annual statewide cap has not been met.
Beginning on May 15, taxpayers can make a “HEART appointment” to authorize Georgia HEART to submit their post-June 30 tax credit pre-approval forms. “Last year, donations came in very quickly once the donation limitations were removed. We don’t want donors to miss out on this opportunity to direct their tax dollars to support healthcare in their community, so if they’re interested in donating, we encourage them to begin the pre-application process right away,” Lunneborg said.
Business can also donate their tax dollars directly to Phoebe Worth and Phoebe Sumter. A “C” Corporation or trust can qualify for a 100% Georgia income tax credit up to 75% of its total income tax liability. An individual who is a member of a limited liability company, shareholder of an “S” Corporation or partner in a partnership (pass-through entities) may qualify for a 100% tax credit up to $10,000.