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It’s The Plan Sponsor’s Responsibility, Just Because

I have been a fan of Sesame Street since I was a child and again as an adult when my children were younger. It’s a brilliant show that has educated millions of kids in the past 45 years. One of the great events in Sesame...more

IRS Issues Final Forms And Instructions For The New Reporting Requirements For The Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate

As previously reviewed in The Fast Laner, in order to administer and enforce the rules of the Individual and Employer Shared Responsibility Mandates of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Sections 6055 and 6056 were added to the...more

The Tip Credit: Won't Be What It Is Now for New York Employers

On February 24, 2015, the Commissioner of Labor accepted the recommendation of the New York State Department of Labor's (NYSDOL) Wage Board (the "Wage Board") for a 50 percent increase in the minimum hourly rate for tipped...more

White House Budget Recommends Elimination of in-Plan Roth Rollovers of After-Tax Contributions

As reported, the Internal Revenue Code currently permits a plan design that allows plan participants to convert non-Roth after-tax contributions to Roth contributions through in-plan Roth rollovers. This design would allow a...more

Worker Classification Impacts ACA Excise Tax

A reminder to employers who are now calculating whether or not they are an “applicable large employer” for purposes of the shared responsibility payment effective this year under the Affordable Care Act. The Act considers all...more

IRS Issues Preliminary Guidance on Cadillac Tax

Monday, the Internal Revenue Service issued preliminary but much-anticipated guidance on the so-called Cadillac tax imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new notice offers very few concrete answers to employer...more

Premium Reimbursement Arrangements Get Relief - More ACA Transition Relief—This Time for Small Employers and S-Corps

The IRS issued guidance on Feb. 18, 2015, providing temporary relief until June 30, 2015, from steep penalties for small employers and S-corps that have continued to use premium reimbursement arrangements to provide health...more

IRS Issues Final Forms for Affordable Care Act Reporting

The Internal Revenue Service has finalized the forms and instructions for reporting information necessary for enforcement of the individual and employer mandates under sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code. The...more

IRS Announces That It Will No Longer Refund FICA Taxes on Severance Payments

The IRS recently announced that severance payments are taxable wages under FICA, and thus employers who seek tax refunds on those payments will be denied. The IRS’s position reflects the United States Supreme Court’s ruling...more

Limited Transition Relief Provided for Employer Payment Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued additional guidance (Notice 2015-17) addressing the treatment of arrangements whereby an employer reimburses an employee for some or all of the premium expenses incurred for...more

Partial Relief for Employer Payment of Individual Insurance Premiums

In a recent notice, the Internal Revenue Service has tempered prior guidance that closed the door on employer arrangements for paying the cost of individual health insurance for employees. The IRS still views these premium...more

FMLA Modified to Protect Same-Sex Spouses Regardless of State of Residence

Among its many protections, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) affords certain covered workers job-protected leave to care for a spouse who has a serious health condition. Since enactment of the FMLA, the law of...more

Reimbursing Employees for Health Premiums Could Trigger ACA Penalties

Q. "I’m a small business owner with fewer than 50 employees. I do not offer health insurance coverage for my employees, but I do reimburse them for their substantiated health insurance premium payments. I normally deduct the...more

Temporary Waiver of ACA Penalties for Small Employers’ Individual Insurance Premium Reimbursement Plans

Last week, the IRS announced the waiver (for 2014 and the first half of 2015) of the penalty for “small” employers that reimburse employees for individual health insurance premiums. To the IRS, “small employer” means an...more

IRS Clarifies Prior Guidance on Premium Reimbursement Arrangements; Provides Limited Relief

Continuing its focus on so-called “premium reimbursement” or “employer payment plans”, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released IRS Notice 2015-17 on February 18, 2015. In this Notice, which was previewed and approved by...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. February Vacation Results in Relatively Quiet Week in Augusta, Except the Tax Package...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Upcoming Hearing: HHS Sec. Burwell Appearing Before E&C Committee on FY2016 Budget... CMS Issues 2016 Payment and Policy Updates for Medicare Health and Drug Plans... CMS Releases Improved Rating System for Nursing...more

Ohio’s Proposed Budget Could Raise Cost of Doing Business

Governor Kasich recently released his proposed FY16-17 state budget, which provides a 23% reduction in personal income tax rates over the next two years and expands deductions available to small businesses having receipts...more

Upcoming New Rules for New Category of PEO

The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 ("TIPA") was signed into law by President Obama in December of last year. One of the changes made by the Act (Section 206) was a change in the Internal Revenue Code to create – and to...more

Medical Insurance Premium Reimbursement — A Brief Reprieve for Small Employers

Some employers – particularly smaller ones – have assisted their employees to obtain health insurance by reimbursing them for the cost of insurance they purchase in the individual market. Does this practice satisfy the...more

Employers: Properly Administer Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans, or You May Be Held Liable to Participants for Adverse Tax...

An employer’s liability to retirees for “improper” FICA tax withholding illustrates the importance of diligent administration of nonqualified deferred compensation plans. In the recent case of Davidson v. Henkel Corp.,...more

Alice in Cook County, Illinois: A View Through the Looking Glass at a Ridiculous Wage-Theft Ordinance

Starting May 1, 2015, employers in Cook County will be subject to a new “Wage-Theft Ordinance” that could lead to employers incurring massive property tax liabilities, business license revocation, and debarment from county...more

U.S. Supreme Court Update, March/April 2015

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases involving state taxation on consecutive days in December. On 12/8/14, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Direct Marketing Ass'n v. Brohl, where the Court has...more

White House Budget Proposal Includes Many Retirement-Related Provisions

On February 2, 2015, the White House released its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, which includes a number of tax code changes targeting retirement savings. If enacted as presented, the proposals would have a significant effect on...more

Employees vs. Independent Contractors: The Consequences of Misclassification

The distinction between independent contractors and employees carries more burdens, consequences, and decisions than ever before. In addition to the tax consequences, there are health care compliance consequences, workers’...more

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