WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital

WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital

As 2017 draws to a close, so does the window for applying for a tax credit on donations to rural Georgia hospitals, including Jackson’s WellStar Sylvan Grove.

In order to make a donation for 2017 and receive the tax credit, donors must apply through the Georgia Department of Revenue for approval, which can takes up to 30 days to receive.

Known as the Georgia Rural Hospital Organization Expense Tax Credit program, the credit is available only to those donating to one of 49 qualified rural hospitals in Georgia. WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital in Jackson is the only hospital of WellStar Health System’s 11 facilities that qualifies to receive donations under the program.

Each hospital qualified for the program may receive up to $4 million annually, through the 2019 tax year, until each year’s cap of $60 million in donations is reached.

“At that point, the program will be suspended for the remainder of the year,” WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital says in a statement on its website describing the donation process. “It is important not to wait until the end of the year to participate in this unique program and support Sylvan Grove Hospital.”

The program allows taxpayers to donate to Sylvan Grove Hospital, and the 48 other qualifying hospitals in Georgia, and receive a state income tax credit for 90 percent of the amount of the donation. Those who itemize deductions can deduct the remaining 10 percent on their federal income tax returns. The state credit is capped at $5,000 per year for single taxpayers and $10,000 per year for married couples.

The program also allows donations by C corporations, typically larger businesses.

According to WellStar, seven Georgia hospitals have closed since 2013. The state tax credit was passed by the Georgia General Assembly to encourage donations to rural hospitals struggling to stay open.

Sylvan Grove Hospital, which has been open in Butts County for more than 50 years, treats more than 15,000 patients per year in its emergency department and hosts an inpatient center for extended care rehabilitation. The hospital also has outpatient imaging facilities and offers physical, occupational and speech therapy services.

According to WellStar, the hospital has a $19.9 million economic impact on Butts County and provides more than $12 million a year in charity and other unreimbursed care.

Sylvan Grove Hospital became part of the WellStar network, a nonprofit system based in Marietta, in 2016.

“Being a part of WellStar has been a wonderful partnership and we are very excited to be a nonprofit hospital that allows us to be part of the (tax credit) program, as we rely heavily on community support,” WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital Vice President of Operations and Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Johnson said. “The support financially will help our hospital to grow and provide the services this community relies on.”

To contribute to the hospital and receive the tax credit, taxpayers must register on the Georgia Department of Revenue Tax Payer Center site, declaring an intention to donate to Sylvan Grove. Approval may take up to 30 days.

Once approved, taxpayers can donate to: WellStar Foundation, Attn: Sylvan Grove Tax Credit Program, 805 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta, GA 30066.

Sylvan Grove will provide a form known as IT QROE-RH01 within 15 days of receiving the contribution. Taxpayers then list their contribution to Sylvan Grove Hospital on the Georgia Tax Center site, and upload the RH01 form provided by Sylvan Grove within 30 days of the contribution.

The Department of Revenue will issue a form known as IT QRHOE-TP2 that donors then submit with their tax returns for 2017.

For more information on the program, visit www.wellstar.org/GATaxCreditGiving.

Managing Editor

Michael Davis has been the editor of the Jackson Progress-Argus since 2010. He previously worked as an editor and reporter for the Henry Daily Herald and Clayton News-Daily.

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