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Kentucky's Small Business Income Tax Credits | Small Business Services Division

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Kentucky’s Small Businesses Applying for Income Tax Credits

As the unemployment rate is at an all-time high, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s Small Business Services Division is working hard to help the small businesses of Kentucky not only survive during this time but to strive. Recently, the Cabinet created the Kentucky Small Business Investment Credit (KSBIC) program which allows eligible small businesses paying taxes imposed by the Kentucky Revised Statutes to apply for a Kentucky state income tax credit. Any for profit small business that has 50 or fewer full time employees including corporate offices, at the time of application, excluding newly created eligible positions, and that is not an affiliate or subsidiary within that structure, is eligible to apply for the KSBIC.

Ms. Patricia Lockhart with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development for Existing Business held a special meeting at Northwest Kentucky Forward’s office last week to discuss in detail KSBIC’s application requirements and how this program will affect companies and their employees in the Northwest Kentucky region.

Lockhart explained, "The KSBIC provides a nonrefundable state income tax credit between $3,500-$25,000 for small businesses that create and fill one or more eligible positions and invest $5,000 or more in qualifying equipment or technology." She went on to say, "The tax credit amount will be equal to $1,000 multiplied by the number of eligible positions plus 50 percent of the purchase price of the qualifying equipment or technology."

Lockhart then explained that businesses should apply one year after at least one new eligible position has been created/filled or one year after they have purchased $5,000 or more of qualified equipment and technology after December 31, 2009.


In order to be eligible the following must occur:

1. Increase the base employment of the business;

2. Is a newly created position in the business that has never before been filled, or is a previously created position that has been continuously vacant for a minimum of 12 months immediately prior to the hiring of an employee to fill the position;

3. Is filled by an employee subject to the Kentucky income tax;

4. Is filled by an employee working an average of 35 or more hours per week for a period of 12 months and;

5. Pays a base hourly wage including tips and commission, but excludes benefits, reimbursements and bonuses, of at least 150 percent of the federal minimum wage in effect at the time of application.

Small business applicants that meet the program requirements described above have 90 days after the eligibility date to apply and one year to be approved for a tax credit. Once the applications are submitted and fulfill the requirements, the Small Business Services Division personnel will review the KSBIC applications and supporting documentation. The highest ranked applications will then be selected for submission to the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) for final review and approval. After selection, the Small Business Services Division personnel will notify the applicant of preliminary selection for submission. If KEDFA approves a KSBIC tax credit, the Kentucky Department of Revenue will be notified that the approval business is authorized to claim a small business tax credit in the approved amount.

"Applicants should strongly consider applying for a tax credit as soon as possible after meeting eligibility requirements. Delaying the submission of an application may reduce the opportunity to receive a tax credit," emphasized Lockhart.

For a business applying for the first time, base employment is calculated on December 31 of the base year of the business, which is January 1-December 31, 2009, for businesses in existence as of January 1, 2009. For businesses started after January 1, 2009, base employment is calculated on December 31st following the first full year of operation.

Please note that any company which has received KEDFA approved loans, grants, or tax incentives that were based on job creation and/or equipment purchases cannot apply for a tax credit through this program if the eligible position(s) and/or qualifying equipment included in this application were used as the basis to claim a tax credit or financed with grant or loan under another KEDFA program.

With the KSBIC being a new program to the State, future plans for the income tax credit are indefinite. The Cabinet will review and revamp the program if necessary year after year to maintain economic growth for Kentucky’s small businesses.

If you have any questions about the KSBIC program please contact Existing Business Manager, Cj Maple with Northwest Kentucky Forward at 270.826.7505 after January 3. 2011. To view KSBIC applications online go to