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Total Articles: 10

Tax-Exempts and Public Companies Beware – Major Changes to Executive Compensation Tax Rules Loom

On December 2, 2017, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Senate Bill”).

Watch out for IRS letters: IRS Begins Enforcing Employer Mandate

The IRS has recently begun enforcing the “employer shared responsibility” (ESR) provisions of the Affordable Care Act (the "Act"), which require employers having 50 or more full-time employees (or full-time equivalent employees) to offer health insurance coverage to eligible employees and their dependents. Failure to offer qualifying coverage as required by the Act results in the employer being subject to a penalty, known as the “employer shared responsibility payment” (ESRP), which can be substantial. Notices of ESRPs for 2015 coverage – the first year for which the ESR requirements were effective – are being received by some employers now. The notices are not actual assessments, but the penalty will be assessed if appropriate action is not taken promptly.

Massive Tax Reform Legislation Will Have Drastic Impact on Employers

)n Saturday, while many Americans were busy with the holiday season hustle and bustle, the Senate moved quickly to pass its version of historic, sweeping tax reform legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), by a 51 to 49 vote along party lines. The massive, 500-page bill that is ironically touted as simplifying the US tax code, will have a drastic effect on the employment tax treatment of many core employee benefits starting January 1, 2018.

Your Not So Kind (or Welcome) Early Holiday Gift from the IRS: Letter 226j

On more than one occasion since passing the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), the IRS has given some type of early holiday “gift” to alleviate pending compliance concerns for employers. One of the most significant of these occurred in late December 2015, when the IRS extended the mandated filing periods for Forms 1094/1095, which gave employers more time to comply with the ACA’s new reporting obligations. Employers were still coming to grips with reporting health insurance coverages offered during the 2015 taxable year and the litany of new codes used to determine if the employer had adequately complied with Code Section 4980H’s employer shared responsibility requirements. At that same time, the IRS also communicated that employers would not be penalized for filing incorrect or incomplete Forms 1094/1095 if the forms were actually filed by the extended deadlines and filers could show they “made good faith efforts to comply with the information reporting requirements for 2015.”

Changes in Previously Announced COLAs

In October, the 2018 FICA taxable wage base (the maximum amount of an employee’s wages with respect to which the Old-Age, Survivor and Disability Income portion of FICA taxes is payable) had been announced as $128,700, up from this year’s $127,200. On November 27, the Social Security Administration announced that it was lowering the previously calculated amount, and that the 2018 taxable wage base would instead be only $128,400.

Can Gig Businesses Offer Benefits To Their Workers? Recent Developments May Shed Light On Answer

There are obvious “benefits” to participating in the gig economy: Gig companies get to use as little or as much labor as they need. Gig workers are able to work at their chosen capacity. And customers get new products and services. But there are other “benefits” that are receiving more attention of late: “employee benefits.”

IRS Will Soon Issue Notices of 2015 ACA Penalties

Large employers may soon receive a notice from the IRS if they are liable for an employer shared responsibility payment for calendar year 2015 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The IRS updated its guidance on ACA employer shared responsibility provisions on November 9, announcing that it plans to issue penalty notices to Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) deemed out of compliance.

The Proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Would Make Sweeping Changes to Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits

On November 2, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) (the “Bill”) as part of proposed tax reform legislation. The Bill is sweeping in scope and provides for significant changes to the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”), including in the area of executive compensation and employee benefits.

Workflex in the 21st Century Act Could Modernize ERISA With Telecommuting, Job-Sharing, and More

On November 2, 2017, U.S. Representative Mimi Walters (R-CA) introduced the Workflex in the 21st Century Act, a bill that would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The legislation would allow employers to create an ERISA plan, known as a qualified flexible workplace arrangement plan, to offer employees a combination of guaranteed paid leave and increased work flexibility options.

No Standing!

This is the most recent article in our series which focuses on the impact on employers of the downward spiral and death knell of the multi-employer defined benefit plan.