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February 1, 2018

Two Major Employee Benefits Changes

On Dec. 22, 2017, the IRS issued a notice that delays the furnishing deadline for 2017 Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting and President Donald Trump signed the tax reform bill, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, into law, eliminating the individual mandate penalty beginning in 2019. This article briefly summarizes the implications of both of these actions.
January 15, 2018

IRS Issues New Tables for 2018 Tax Withholding

Starting Feb. 15, 2018, employers must use new tables to determine how much income tax to withhold from their employees’ paychecks. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the required new tables, in Notice 1036, on Jan. 9, 2018. The notice contains early release copies of the “Percentage Method Tables for Income Tax Withholding” that will appear in IRS Publication 15 (Employer’s Tax Guide).
December 27, 2017

Furnishing Deadline Delayed for 2017 ACA Reporting

On Dec. 22, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2018-06 to extend the due date for furnishing forms under Sections 6055 and 6056 for 2017 for 30 days, from Jan. 31, 2018, to March 2, 2018; and extend good-faith transition relief from penalties related to 2017 information reporting under Sections 6055 and 6056.
December 8, 2017

Individual Mandate Compliance Policy Reversed

In October, the IRS reversed a recent policy change in how it monitors compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Individuals should keep the following in mind when filing 2017 tax returns...
November 6, 2017

Pay or Play Enforcement Guidance

On Nov. 2, 2017, the IRS updated its Questions and Answers (Q&As) on the employer shared responsibility rules under the ACA to include information on enforcement.
October 26, 2017

Latest ACA Repeal Bill Withdrawn

The Graham-Cassidy bill, the most recent Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was withdrawn from a vote on Sept. 26 due to lack of support in the Senate, effectively dooming the legislation. Earlier that week, key Republican senators voiced opposition to the bill, which forced Senate leadership to shelf the vote until further notice. Given the vocal opposition from influential health organizations and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, the proposed bill would need a variety of amendments before plausibly moving forward.
October 24, 2017

Requirements for Classifying Workers as Independent Contractors

There are a variety of reasons that an employer might want to classify a worker as an independent contractor (IC). The most compelling are usually the tax savings and the administrative time savings of not having to put that individual on payroll. Often employers believe that if they hire a temporary employee, this option is available to them since it seems to make sense that you shouldn’t have to jump through as many hoops when only employing someone for a few days or even a few months. Other employers believe that a worker's consent to being classified as an IC is all that is necessary. Unfortunately, no matter how good the reason or how short of a time the worker works for you, if they don’t pass the tests established by the Department of Labor (DOL) and IRS, they must be classified as an employee. Failure to do so could result in significant penalties due to both wage and hour and tax withholding violations. Thankfully, the DOL and IRS tests are quite similar, and a worker who looks like an IC under one test will likely look the same when the other test is applied. Here we have provided the DOL’s test.
October 23, 2017

Health FSA Limit Will Increase for 2018

The ACA imposes a maximum dollar limit on employees' salary reduction contributions to a health FSA. Although the ACA set this limit at $2,500, the limit is indexed for cost-of-living adjustments each year. On Oct. 19, 2017, the IRS announced that, for taxable years beginning in 2018, the dollar limit on employees' salary reduction contributions to a health FSA will increase to $2,650.
September 25, 2017

Avoiding Disaster Relief Scams

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were two of the most devastating storms in recent memory and cost an incalculable amount in property damage and loss of life. Events like these motivate generous people to give, but they also bring scammers. It is important your employees know which charities are legitimate if they plan on donating money or resources. Here are some quick tips for ensuring donations go to those who need it...