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2018 Tax Filing Data Shows Need to Review Withholding

The IRS continues to encourage taxpayers to review the amount of tax they have withheld to avoid an unexpected tax surprise when they file their 2019 tax returns next year. Preliminary 2018 tax filing data seems to show the need for taxpayers to review their withholding in order to make sure the appropriate amount of tax is being withheld from their paychecks to reflect recent tax law changes. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made significant changes to the tax code, and 2018 was the first time that taxpayers filed with the new rules. Among other changes,...

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August 1 IRS webinar to help employers, tax pros understand payroll taxes

IR-2019-133, July 29, 2019 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service will conduct a webinar August 1 for employers and tax professionals focusing on employment and payroll taxes. Federal law requires most employers to withhold federal income taxes from their employees' wages. These taxes must be deposited, along with the employer and employee portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and reported to the IRS. Last year, the IRS processed over 30 million employment tax returns and collected over $1 trillion in employment taxes. The free 60-minute webinar is open to tax professionals, employers and anyone else interested in the topic. Tax pros can...

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Five Ways to Prevent Workplace Harassment

Every employer should make preventing workplace harassment a top priority Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that may violate federal laws such Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a list of best practices for employers to use to prevent harassment in their workplaces. [embed]http://hr360.wistia.com/medias/4gsb9jchzx?wvideo=4gsb9jchzx&wemail[/embed]...

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ACA Affordability Contribution Rate Set at 9.78% for 2020

New Figure Marks Decrease from 2019 Under the employer shared responsibility ("pay or play") provisions of the Affordable Care Act, applicable large employers—generally those who have 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees)—may be subject to a penalty if they do not offer affordable coverage that provides minimum value to their full-time employees and their dependents. For plan years beginning in 2020, the Internal Revenue Service has announced that coverage will generally be considered affordable if the employee's required contribution for the lowest-cost self-only health plan offered is 9.78% or less of his or her household income for the taxable...

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3rd Quarter Market Memo from Ashley Vice, Portfolio Manager

Time to read: 8 minutes At the end of this month, the current economic expansion will become the longest in our country’s history. Ten years ago people feared that the economy might never improve. Now the prevailing worry is that the music might stop. So far, 2019 has been great for stocks and bonds; both hit all-time highs this week. And it’s justified. Interest rates are low, business optimism is high, inflation is benign, corporations are more profitable than ever, and the general feeling among consumers is positive. Moreover, market fundamentals are not stretched. The fastest-growing companies are trading at high multiples...

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Ashley Vice on SIMA Response to Current Market Trends

Rather than building an investment strategy on ephemeral market forecasts, we prefer to look for the known risks and opportunities and weigh them against probable outcomes. We can never know when a certain trend will turn, but we should be aware of those things that are unsustainable and position ourselves accordingly. To that end, we’ve upgraded the quality of our fixed income holdings this quarter in response to growing risks in corporate bonds. The lowest quality tranche of “investment grade” bonds, the BBB-rated tranche, used to make up 35% of all investment grade bonds. Now it’s over 50%, and these companies...

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Reminder: PCORI Fees Due July 31

The Affordable Care Act imposes a fee on issuers of specified health insurance policies and plan sponsors of applicable self-insured health plans to help fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The fee, required to be reported only once a year on the second quarter Form 720 and paid by its due date, July 31, is based on the average number of lives covered under the policy or plan. The fee applies to policy or plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2012, and before Oct. 1, 2019. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute fee is filed using Form 720, Quarterly Federal...

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Have a sunnier tax season with these summertime IRS tax tips

WASHINGTON — Buying a home? Working a summer job? Volunteering? Activities that are common in the summer often qualify for tax credits or deductions. And, while summertime and part-time workers may not earn enough to owe federal income tax, they should remember to file a return to get a refund for taxes withheld early next year. Here are some summertime tax tips from the IRS that can help taxpayers during tax season next year: Marital tax bliss. Newlyweds should report any name change to the Social Security Administration before filing next year’s tax return. Then, report any address change to the...

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New Minimum Wage Requirements in Several States/Cities

On July 1, several states and cities changed their minimum wage rate. Click here to view the list of affected jurisdictions, including: ⦁ New Jersey ⦁ Oregon ⦁ Chicago ⦁ Cook County, IL ⦁ Washington, DC ⦁ Minneapolis ⦁ Los Angeles ⦁ San Francisco ⦁ and 9 smaller cities in California Action May Be Required: If you operate in one of the affected cities or states, please review your employee pay rates to ensure all employee are being paid at least the new minimum wage. Please note, SIMA cannot automatically update these wages, therefore, you will need to confirm your employee pay rates and adjust those that fall below the adjusted...

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