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Small Businesses

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Reminder: ‘Pay or Play’ Affordability Percentage is 9.56%

Percentage Down from 2017 Under the employer shared responsibility ("pay or play") provisions of the Affordable Care Act, applicable large employers—generally those who had 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) in 2017—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) in 2018. As a reminder, for plan years beginning in 2018, coverage will generally be considered affordable if the employee's required contribution for the lowest cost self-only health plan is 9.56% or less of his or her household income for the taxable year....

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‘Cadillac Tax’ Delayed Until 2022

Tax Previously Set to Become Effective in 2020 President Trump has signed the Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, which (among other things) delays implementation of the "Cadillac Tax," the Affordable Care Act's excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage, until 2022. Previously, this tax—which would impose a 40% tax on plans that cost more than $10,200 (for self-only coverage) and $27,500 (for family coverage)—was set to become effective in 2020. You can find more information about Cadillac Tax here. ...

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3 Key ACA Terms Employers Need to Know

Definitions Essential to Understanding 'Pay or Play' Compliance In general, under the employer shared responsibility ("pay or play") provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), applicable large employers—generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees—may be subject to a penalty if they do not offer minimum essential coverage that is affordable and provides minimum value to their full-time employees (and their dependents). Here are definitions to help employers understand these key terms: Minimum Essential Coverage: Minimum essential coverage includes, among other things, coverage under an employer-based plan (including self-insured plans, retiree plans, and COBRA coverage). It does not include...

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Highlights of Maryland Sick & Safe Leave Law

Maryland has passed a sick and safe leave law. Highlights of the law are presented below. Coverage An employer with 15 or more employees generally must provide an employee with paid earned sick and safe leave at the same wage rate as the employee normally earns. An employer with 14 or fewer employees must (at least) provide an employee with unpaid earned sick and safe leave. The law does not apply to an employee who (among other things) regularly works less than 12 hours a week for an employer. Click here for more details on coverage and exceptions. Accrual and Use Earned sick and safe leave...

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Maryland Adopts Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law

On Jan. 12, 2018, the Maryland General Assembly overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2017 veto of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, which requires employers in the state to permit employees to earn and use sick and safe leave. Absent further legislative action, the measure will become effective Feb. 11, 2018. Accordingly, Maryland should prepare to comply with its requirements immediately.The Healthy Working Families Act applies to all employers in Maryland, including state and local governments; however, it makes a distinction between large and small employers. For employers with 15 or more employees, sick and safe leave is paid leave and must...

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IRS Releases New Income Tax Withholding Tables

Tables to be Used No Later Than Feb. 15 The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Notice 1036, Early Release Copies of the 2018 Percentage Method Tables for Income Tax Withholding. The notice updates the income-tax withholding tables for 2018, reflecting changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Highlights of the notice include the following: Early release copies of the percentage method tables for income-tax withholding that will appear in Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide Social Security and Medicare tax rates for 2018 Additional Medicare Tax withholding rates Employers should begin using the 2018 withholding tables as soon as possible, but...

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New Small Business Health Care Tax Credit Form Released

Form Used by Eligible Employers to Claim Credit for 2017 Tax Year The IRS has released Form 8941, Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums, and related instructions, for tax year 2017. Eligible small employers use this form to figure the credit for health insurance premiums under the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit is designed to encourage small businesses and tax-exempt employers to offer health insurance coverage to their employees. Among other requirements, an employer may be eligible for the credit for tax year 2017 if: It had fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees for...

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5 Things ALEs Need to Know About Information Reporting in 2018

Forms 1095-C Due to Full-Time Employees by March 2, 2018 Under the Affordable Care Act, applicable large employers (ALEs)—generally those with at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, in the preceding calendar year—must report certain information to their full-time employees and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about the health care coverage they have offered (if any). With deadlines for 2017 reporting just a few months away, ALEs should begin thinking about these five information reporting facts: ALEs are required to furnish Form 1095-C to each of its full-time employees by March 2, 2018 (new extended deadline). ALEs must file Forms 1095-C, accompanied...

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IRS Increases Limits for HSA, FSA, HDHP

The IRS recently announced cost-of-living adjustments to the annual dollar limits for various welfare and retirement plan limits for 2018. Although some of the limits will remain the same, many of the limits will increase for 2018. The annual limits for the following commonly offered employee benefits will increase for 2018: High deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs); Health flexible spending accounts (FSAs); Transportation fringe benefit plans; and 401(k) plans Employers should update their benefit plan designs for the new limits and also make sure that their plan administration will be consistent with the new limits in 2018. Employers may also want to...

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401(k) Contribution Limit Increases to $18,500

The IRS has announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2018. Highlights include: The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans is increased from $18,000 to $18,500. The catch-up contribution limit for those aged 50 and over remains unchanged at $6,000. The limit on annual contributions to an individual retirement arrangement (IRA) remains unchanged at $5,500. The deduction for taxpayers making contributions to a traditional IRA is phased out for singles and heads of household who are covered by a workplace retirement plan and have adjusted gross...

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