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Employers Have Flexibility with Contraceptive Coverage Plan Designs

In July, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld expanded exemptions to the ACA’s contraceptive mandate. Under these exemptions, plan sponsors that object to providing contraceptive coverage based on sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions will not be penalized for failing to include contraceptive coverage in the plan’s benefits. The ACA requires non-grandfathered health plans to cover certain women’s preventive health services without cost sharing, including all FDA-approved contraceptives. Religious exemptions apply to certain churches, houses of worship, and other church-affiliated institutions, which allows them to choose not to contract, arrange, pay or refer for any contraceptive coverage. In its 7:2 decision, the...

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Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Lawsuit Challenging ACA’s Constitutionality This Fall

This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments in Texas v. Azar, the lawsuit arguing that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional. In June 2020, President Donald Trump’s administration asked the Supreme Court to strike down the entire ACA due to the elimination of the individual mandate penalty. The administration’s argument hinges on Congress’ decision in 2017 to reduce the individual mandate penalty to zero. According to the White House, removing that provision invalidated the entire law. If the remaining provisions of the ACA  are upheld without the individual mandate penalty, then little will change from the current...

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Holiday Payroll Notice – Please Plan Ahead

SIMA will be closed on Monday, September 7, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday. Your payroll must be processed by 12:00 pm a day earlier than normal to ensure timely processing. Is your pay date on Monday, September 7? There will be no direct deposits allowed on Monday, September 7, due to the Labor Day Holiday and bank closures. If your pay date is on this day, please contact your payroll team at payroll@simafinancialgroup.com to let us know whether you would like to move your pay date to Friday or Tuesday. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need additional...

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Latest News on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program is an SBA loan designed to enable businesses to keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The SBA routinely updates their site with important information regarding the program and loan forgiveness.  SIMA encourages clients to consult the SBA website for the latest. Notice: Paycheck Protection Program closed August 8, 2020 Paycheck Protection Program Loan Information Loan Details and Forgiveness Who Can Apply Lender Forms and Guidance Additional Program Information Other Assistance  ...

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President Trump Orders Payroll Tax Deferment

On Aug. 8, 2020, President Donald J. Trump ordered the U.S. Department of Treasury (the Department) to defer collecting certain payroll taxes from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020. Because the order is for a deferral, the unpaid taxes will need to be recouped at a later time, unless the Department can find an avenue to eliminate the obligation to pay the taxes. Eligibility for Deferred Payroll Taxes Under the order, employers will be able to defer taxes that help pay for Social Security and Medicare for individuals who receive less than $4,000 during any bi-weekly pay period (the equivalent of $104,000...

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Be Alert About Email Phishing Scams – Bad Actors Seeking to Take Advantage through “SBA Loan Application”

In the wake of emergency assistance available to help small businesses in response to the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the SBA is urging disaster loan applicants seeking federal aid to be alert to phishing campaigns and scams. These malicious actors are impersonating the SBA and its Office of Disaster Assistance to collect personally identifiable information (PII) for fraudulent purposes. The SBA is particularly concerned about scam emails that are targeting applicants of the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program asking them to verify their accounts using a third-party online platform to collect personally identifiable information. Watch Out for Phony Emails Asking for Your...

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In Recovery? Market Commentary from Ashley Vice, CFA, CFP

9 minute read Here’s what 2020 has thrown at us so far: a global pandemic, economic depression, tens of millions unemployed, zero-percent interest rates, unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus, an explosion in the debt and deficit, and social unrest in the form of riots and protests. And there’s a presidential election in four months. Meanwhile the S&P 500 is essentially flat for the year. The question I get most often is “how can the markets be this strong with all that’s going on? It seems disconnected from reality.” I understand the sentiment but there’s good reason for the resilience. Widely-followed indices like the S&P...

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DOL Launches Employee Tool for Assessing FFCRA Leave Eligibility

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has created an online tool to help workers determine whether they qualify for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The tool works by posing a series of questions that help employees assess whether the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to their employer. Once employees learn the provisions do apply, the tool then assists them in determining whether they qualify for FFCRA paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. The DOL is also developing a similar tool for employers. Employee Leave Under the...

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July 15 Due Date Approaches for Federal Income Tax Returns and Payments

The due date for federal income tax returns and payments is Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the original due date for filing federal income tax returns and making tax payments was postponed by the IRS from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. No interest, penalties, or additions to tax are incurred by taxpayers during this 90-day relief period for any return or payment postponed under this relief provision. The relief applied automatically to all taxpayers, who did not need to file any additional forms to qualify for the relief. The relief applied to federal income tax...

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