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5 Performance Review Best Practices

Performance reviews are an annual ritual for many employers, but their usefulness has been debated for years. To make sure you—and your employees—get the most out of performance reviews, follow these five tips. Perform formal evaluations at the same time for everyone each year. While this increases the workload of managers and supervisors during review time, it forces direct comparisons of employees and establishes a nonbiased system. Have regular meetings with supervisory staff. Supervisors will learn from each other’s experiences. Provide adequate training and insist on candid observations. Clearly communicate to employees what their duties are and what satisfactory performance is....

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Upcoming Group Health Plan Compliance Dates

Employers must comply with numerous reporting and disclosure requirements throughout the year in connection with their group health plans. Listed below are upcoming important compliance deadlines for employer-sponsored group health plans, organized chronologically. For these requirements, the information provided herein shows the deadlines that apply to calendar year plans. For non-calendar year plans, these deadlines will need to be adjusted to reflect each plan’s specific plan year. January 2020 Employers that filed 250 or more IRS Forms W-2 for the prior calendar year must file Forms W-2 with the Social Security Administration and furnish Forms W-2 to employees by Jan. 31 of...

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IRS Releases Final Forms and Instructions for 2019 ACA Reporting

The 2019 ACA Reporting is Due in Early 2020 The IRS has released final 2019 versions of Forms 1094-C, 1095-C, 1094-B, and 1095-B that employers will use in early 2020 to report on the group health insurance coverage they offered during the 2019 calendar year. Instructions on how to complete Forms 1094-C and 1095-C and Forms 1094-B and 1095-B for the 2019 calendar year have also been released. The 2019 forms and instructions are substantially similar to the 2018 versions. Note that Section 6055 reporting continues to be required, despite the fact that the individual mandate penalty has been reduced to $0....

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DOL Issues 2020 Form W-4

Employers Must Begin Using the New Form Jan. 1 On Dec. 5, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service released an updated version of its W-4 form, also known as the “Employee’s Withholding Certificate.” Employers use IRS Form W-4 to determine each employee’s federal tax withholdings. The new form is intended to harmonize tax withholding declarations with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which affected individuals for the first time during the last tax filing season. Employees may complete a new W-4 each year or each time they experience a change in their personal financial situation. However, the new form does not invalidate prior...

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Business Mileage, Medical and Moving Rates Decrease

On Dec. 31. 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the 2020 optional standard mileage rates, which are used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on January 1, 2020, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 57.5 cents per mile driven for business use (down from 58 cents in 2019); 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (down from 20 cents in 2019); and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (unchanged). Click here...

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New Spending Package Includes Sweeping Retirement Plan Changes (SECURE Act)

The $1.4 trillion spending package enacted on December 20, 2019, included the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, which had overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives in the spring of 2019, but then subsequently stalled in the Senate. The SECURE Act represents the most sweeping set of changes to retirement legislation in more than a decade. While many of the provisions offer enhanced opportunities for individuals and small business owners, there is one notable drawback for investors with significant assets in traditional IRAs and retirement plans. These individuals will likely want to revisit their estate-planning strategies to prevent...

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2019 Tax Law Change Update

Highlights of spending package’s tax law changes The federal government spending package titled the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, does more than just fund the government. It extends certain income tax provisions that had already expired or that were due to expire at the end of 2019. The agreement on the spending package also includes the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. Let’s look at some of the highlights. Extenders Here are some of the most widely relevant breaks that have been extended through 2020: The exclusion from gross income of discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness, The treatment of...

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Have your employees visited the doctor this year?

Small life decisions can have a huge impact on your health. Those who don’t see a doctor once a year risk greater health complications down the road. Since most health plans cover an annual visit, there’s no reason to skip a checkup.  It's a great time to remind your employees to see their doctor before the year ends! [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https://simafinancialgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Have-You-Visited-Your-Doctor-This-Year.mp4"][/video]...

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Title: What are Corrective Distributions and How to Avoid Them Going Forward 

Tests – the word alone is enough to make the most studious of us sweat.  When placed in the context of 401(k) plans, i.e. determining whether your plan passes non-discrimination tests, anxiety levels can go through the roof!    This article will take a brief look at ways to correct a failed “ADP” test, the non-discrimination test mandated by the Internal Revenue Code to determine whether 401(k) elective deferrals unfairly favor highly-compensated employees and use corrective distributions, a method available to fix a failed test.  It also outlines a few changes that can be made mid-year to improve test results and explains...

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Market Watch – A Decade in Review

Ashley Vice, CFA, CFP ® By almost any economic or financial metric, the twenty-tens have been an amazing decade. This has been the first decade in American history without a recession. Our economy grew 40% while the population grew by less than 10%. (Said another way, GDP per capita soared). Unemployment hit generational lows. Earnings of mainstream equities more than doubled, closely in line with the rise in share prices. Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index grew only 18% (as did the price of a postage stamp). The misery index (inflation + the unemployment rate) hit a 60-year low. Despite political turmoil,...

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