IRS Issues New Tools for 2018 Tax Withholding

IRS Issues New Tools for 2018 Tax Withholding

HIGHLIGHTS

The IRS has issued three new tools for 2018 tax withholding.
The updates reflect changes made by a tax reform law enacted in 2017.
Employers must use the new tables but do not have to use the new Form W-4 for 2018.
An updated calculator allows taxpayers to check withholdings.

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New Tax Law Includes Changes for Employee Benefits

New Tax Law Includes Changes for Employee Benefits

HIGHLIGHTS

Employers can no longer take a tax deduction for qualified transportation fringe benefits.
Except for bicycle commuting reimbursements, qualified transportation benefits are still nontaxable to employees.
Employers that provide paid family and medical leave may qualify for a temporary tax credit.

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IRS confirms ACA Mandate Penalties Still Effective

IRS confirms ACA Mandate Penalties Still Effective

The IRS Office of Chief Counsel has recently issued several information letters regarding the Affordable Care Act’s individual and employer mandate penalties. These letters clarify that:

Employer shared responsibility penalties continue to apply for applicable large employers (ALEs) that fail to offer acceptable health coverage to their full-time employees (and dependents); and
Individual mandate penalties continue to apply for individuals that do not obtain acceptable health coverage (if they do not qualify for an exemption).

These letters were issued in response to confusion over President Donald Trump’s executive order directing federal agencies to provide relief from the burdens of the ACA.

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Senate Rejects Efforts To Repeal The ACA

Senate Rejects Efforts To Repeal The ACA

In the early morning hours of July 28, 2017, members of the U.S. Senate voted 49-51 to reject a “skinny” version of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), called the Health Care Freedom Act (HCFA).
This was the final vote of the Senate’s 20-hour debate period, and effectively ends the Republicans’ current efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. However, the skinny repeal bill may be reintroduced at some point in the future.

 

IMPACT ON EMPLOYERS

Because the Senate was unable to pass any ACA repeal or replacement bill, the ACA remains current law, and employers must continue […] Read more

DOL Withdraws Joint Employment Guidance

DOL Withdraws Joint Employment Guidance

On June 7, 2017, the U.S. DOL withdrew an administrative interpretation regarding joint employment. The interpretation was issued in 2016 by the DOL to help employers identify joint employment situations.

The guidance was issued with the intent of preventing employers from using intermediaries to shield themselves from liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA).

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DOL Audit Warning Signs

DOL Audits

The Department of Labor (DOL)’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has the authority to conduct audits on benefits plans that are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). DOL audits often focus on violations of ERISA’s fiduciary obligations and reporting and disclosure requirements.

The DOL may also investigate whether an employee benefit plan complies with ERISA’s protections for plan participants, such as the special enrollment rules or mental health parity requirements. Recently, the DOL has been using its investigative authority to enforce compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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