• Individual Mandate Exemptions Available for 2017 Tax Returns

    Affordability, Tax Filing Threshold, and Other Exemptions Available

    Under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) ”individual mandate” (also called individual shared responsibility) provision, every individual must have minimum essential health coverage for each month, qualify for an exemption, or make a payment when filing his or her federal income tax return for tax year 2017.

    Among other exemptions, individuals may claim the following exemptions from the individual mandate by filing Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, along with his or her 2017 tax return:

    • Affordability Exemption: The lowest-priced coverage available to the individual, through either a Health Insurance Marketplace or employer-based group health plan, would have cost the individual more than 8.16% of his or her household income for plan years beginning in 2017, as computed on the tax return.
    • Tax Filing Threshold Exemption: The individual’s gross income or household income was less than the applicable minimum threshold for filing a tax return (see ”2017 Federal Tax Filing Requirement Thresholds”).
    • Short Coverage Gap Exemption: The individual went without coverage for less than three consecutive months during the year.
    • Medicaid Expansion Exemption: The individual’s household income is below 138% of the federal poverty line for his or her family size, and at any time during the year, the individual resided in a state that did not participate in the Medicaid expansion under the ACA. States that did not expand Medicaid for all of 2017 include: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

    Click here to learn more about individual mandate exemptions.

    Be sure to visit our Individual Mandate (Individual Shared Responsibility)section for additional details.

    To access your HR library, please visit www.HR360.com/login.

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  • Living Planet Aquarium

    This is a great cause that Team Nash has been behind since the beginning. Please donate what you can.

    You can easily donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/livingplanetaquarium

     

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  • Reminder: Counting Employees Vital to ACA Compliance

    Company Size Impacts Application of “Pay or Play”

    Employers are reminded that it is important to know how many full-time employees they have in order to ensure compliance with the employer shared responsibility provisions (“pay or play”) of the Affordable Care Act, which apply only to applicable large employers (ALEs).

    Determining ALE Status
    Whether an employer is considered an ALE for a particular calendar year depends on the size of its workforce during the preceding calendar year. For example, employers will use information about the size of their workforce during 2017 to determine if their company is an ALE for 2018. Employers with an average of at least 50 full-time employees in the preceding calendar year-including full-time equivalent employees (FTEs)-are generally deemed ALEs for the current calendar year.

    Identifying Full-Time Employees
    In general, for purposes of pay or play:

    • A full-time employee is, for a calendar month, an employee who is employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week(130 hours of service in a calendar month is treated as the monthly equivalent of at least 30 hours of service per week).
    • A full-time equivalent employee is a combination of employees, each of whom individually is not a full-time employee, but who, in combination, are equivalent to a full-time employee.

    For additional rules on determining who is a full-time employee, including what counts as an hour of service, click here.

    To learn more about pay or play, check out our Health Care Reformsection.

    To access your HR library, please visit www.HR360.com/login.

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  • Reminder: Group Health Plans Required to Offer Special Enrollment

    Certain Events Trigger 30 or 60-Day Special Enrollment Periods

    Under HIPAA, certain events that happen to employees or their dependents trigger a right to “special enroll” in a group health plan. Special enrollment allows individuals who previously declined health coverage to enroll in coverage outside of a plan’s open enrollment period.

    An employee and his or her dependents must be provided at least 30 days to request special enrollment in a group health plan because of:

    • Loss of eligibility for other coverage, such as coverage from a spouse’s employer;
    • Termination of employer contributions toward other health coverage; or
    • Certain life events, including marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption.

    An employee and his or her dependents must be provided at least 60 days to request special enrollment in a group health plan because of:

    • Loss of coverage under a state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid; or
    • Determination of eligibility for premium assistance under CHIP or Medicaid.

    Group health plans must make all employees eligible to enroll in the employer’s group health plan aware of their special enrollment rights at or before the time an employee is initially offered the opportunity to enroll in the plan by distributing a Notice of Special Enrollment Rights. A downloadable model notice from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is available here (scroll to page 2 of the PDF-marked as page 138). Please note that the DOL’s model notice does not discuss the 60-day special enrollment period requirement mentioned above.

    Check out our HIPAA for All Employers section for additional group health plan requirements under HIPAA.

    To access your HR library, please visit www.HR360.com/login.


    HR News Alerts provided by:

    Team Nash
    2005 E 2700 St, Suite 140, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
    385-234-6754

    Please Note: The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a ‘covered opinion’ or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose.

    The information provided herein is intended solely for the use of our clients and members. You may not display, reproduce, copy, modify, license, sell or disseminate in any manner any information included herein, without the express permission of the Publisher. Kindly read our Terms of Use and respect our Copyright.

    Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc., All rights reserved.

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  • IRS Decreases 2018 HSA Contribution Limit for Certain Individuals

    IRS Decreases 2018 HSA Contribution Limit for Certain Individuals

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the 2018 annual limitation on health savings account (HSA) contributions by individuals with family coverage under a high deductible health plan (HDHP) is now $6,850. This limit was previously announced as $6,900, but has been revised downward due to an inflation adjustment provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The 2018 annual limitation on HSA contributions by an individual with self-only coverage under a HDHP remains unchanged at $3,450.

    Click here to read the IRS announcement.

    Be sure to check out our section on Health Savings Accounts for more on HSAs.

    To access your HR library, please visit www.HR360.com/login.

     


    HR News Alerts provided by:

    Team Nash
    2005 E 2700 St, Suite 140, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
    385-234-6754

    The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

    Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc., All rights reserved.

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  • New Procedures for Disability Plan Claims Effective Soon

    New Rule Changes Disability Claim Processing Requirements

    Effective for disability benefit claims filed after April 1, 2018, a new rule from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requires ERISA-covered employee benefit plans offering disability benefits to provide additional procedural protections to claimants. The new rule ensures that protections for disability claimants parallel protections under the Affordable Care Act that already apply when workers file claims for group health benefits. These new protections apply to all ERISA-covered disability plans, regardless of how the benefit is characterized by the plan or whether the plan is a pension plan or a welfare plan.

    Changes to Claim Processing Requirements
    Most notably, the rule includes the following changes to the requirements for claim processing:

    • Improvement to Basic Disclosure Requirements. Benefit denial notices must include a more complete discussion of why the plan denied a claim and the standards used in making the decision. For example, in relevant cases, the notice must explain why the Plan Administrator disagrees with the opinions of the participant’s or beneficiary’s health care professionals, vocational experts, or the Social Security Administration’s determination of disability
    • Right to Internal Protocols. Benefit denial notices must include the internal rules, guidelines, protocols, standards, or other similar criteria of the plan that were used in denying a claim, or a statement that none were used.
    • Access to Claims File. The Plan Administrator must inform participants, in benefit denial notices (rather than simply in notices denying benefits on appeal), that they are entitled to access, upon request and free of charge, all documents relevant to an adverse claim determination.
    • Avoiding Conflicts of Interest. Plans must ensure that disability benefit claims and appeals are adjudicated in a manner designed to ensure the independence and impartiality of the persons involved in making the decision.

    A summary of additional changes can be found by clicking here. To read the full text of the final rule, click here.

    Visit our Employee Benefits section for additional information and resources to help employers comply with employee benefits laws.

    To access your HR library, please visit www.HR360.com/login.

     


    HR News Alerts provided by:

    Team Nash
    2005 E 2700 St, Suite 140, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
    385-234-6754

    Please Note: The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a ‘covered opinion’ or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose.

    The information provided herein is intended solely for the use of our clients and members. You may not display, reproduce, copy, modify, license, sell or disseminate in any manner any information included herein, without the express permission of the Publisher. Kindly read our Terms of Use and respect our Copyright.

    Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc., All rights reserved.

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  • IRS Releases New Fringe Benefit Tax Guide for Employers

    2018 Publication 15-B Covers New Tax Law Changes

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the 2018 Publication 15-B, Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, which contains information for employers on the employment tax treatment of fringe benefits. The 2018 version of the publication has been updated to include the following changes (among others) from the new tax law and other federal guidance:

    • Suspension of the exclusion for qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements.
    • Suspension of the exclusion for qualified moving expense reimbursements (with limited exceptions).
    • Limitation of the employer deduction for expenses for certain fringe benefits.
    • Establishment of qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (QSEHRAs).

    In addition, the publication contains the following updated guidance for 2018:

    • Cents-per-mile rule. The business mileage rate for 2018 is 54.5 cents per mile. This rate may be used to reimburse an employee for business use of a personal vehicle, and under certain conditions, may be used to value the personal use of a vehicle provided to an employee.
    • Qualified parking exclusion and commuter transportation benefit. For 2018, the monthly exclusion for qualified parking, commuter highway vehicle transportation, and transit passes is$260.
    • Contribution limit on a health flexible spending arrangement(FSA). For plan years beginning after December 31, 2017, a cafeteria plan may not allow an employee to request salary reduction contributions for a health FSA in excess of $2,650.

    Click here to view the publication.

    Be sure to check out our Employee Benefits section to learn more about the tax consequences of various employer-provided benefits.

     


    HR News Alerts provided by:

    Team Nash
    2005 E 2700 St, Suite 140, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
    385-234-6754

    Please Note: The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a ‘covered opinion’ or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose.

    The information provided herein is intended solely for the use of our clients and members. You may not display, reproduce, copy, modify, license, sell or disseminate in any manner any information included herein, without the express permission of the Publisher. Kindly read our Terms of Use and respect our Copyright.

    Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc., All rights reserved.

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  • Federal Agencies Propose to Allow Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance for Longer Periods

    Current Requirements Continue to Apply Until Proposal is Finalized

    Federal agencies recently proposed to amend the definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance so that it may offer a maximum coverage period of less than 12 months after the original effective date of the contract, rather than the current maximum period of less than 3 months. The proposal would also revise the required issuer notice that must be displayed in the contract and any application materials.

    Proposal Applicability Date
    While the current definition applies to policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, a non-enforcement policy applies to policies sold before April 1, 2017, and that end on or before December 31, 2017. The current definition and non-enforcement policy would continue to apply unless and until the proposal is finalized. If finalized, the proposal would apply to insurance policies sold on or after the 60th day following publication of the final rule. Policies sold on or after this date would have to meet the definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance in the final rule in order to be considered such insurance.

    Background
    Under the Affordable Care Act, short-term, limited-duration insurance is exempt from certain market reforms. The allowable duration of such insurance is currently limited to less than 3 months after the original effective date of the contract. In addition, this insurance is not considered minimum essential coverage, which is necessary for an individual to satisfy the individual mandate unless an exemption applies.

    Click here to read the proposal in its entirety. A fact sheet is also available.

    For more information on the ACA, be sure to check out our Health Care Reform section.


    Health Care Reform Updates provided by:

    Team Nash
    2005 E 2700 St, Suite 140, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
    385-234-6754

    Please Note: The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a ‘covered opinion’ or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose.

    The information provided herein is intended solely for the use of our clients and members. You may not display, reproduce, copy, modify, license, sell or disseminate in any manner any information included herein, without the express permission of the Publisher. Kindly read our Terms of Use and respect our Copyright.

    Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc., All rights reserved.

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  • 2018 IRS Publication 15 Now Available

    Publication Explains Employer Tax Responsibilities

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide, for use in 2018. This publication:

    • Details employers’ federal tax responsibilities;
    • Explains the federal requirements for withholding, depositing, reporting, paying, and correcting employment taxes;
    • Lists the forms employers must give to their employees, those that employees must give to the employer, and those that the employer must send to the IRS and Social Security Administration; and
    • Features the tax tables to figure the taxes to withhold from each employee.

    Publication Highlights
    Highlights of the 2018 publication include the following:

    • Social Security and Medicare Tax for 2018. The Social Security tax rate is 6.2% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2017. The Social Security wage base limit is $128,400. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2017. There is no wage base limit for the Medicare tax.
    • 2018 Withholding Tables. The publication includes the 2018 Percentage Method Tables and Wage Bracket Tables for Income Tax Withholding.
    • Withholding Allowance. The 2018 amount for one withholding allowance on an annual basis is $4,150.

    Click here to access the 2018 IRS Publication 15.

    For additional tax information, please visit our section on Employer Tax Laws.


    HR News Alerts provided by:

    Team Nash
    2005 E 2700 St, Suite 140, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
    385-234-6754

    Please Note: The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a ‘covered opinion’ or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose.

    The information provided herein is intended solely for the use of our clients and members. You may not display, reproduce, copy, modify, license, sell or disseminate in any manner any information included herein, without the express permission of the Publisher. Kindly read our Terms of Use and respect our Copyright.

    Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc., All rights reserved.

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  • IRS Releases Additional Guidance on Form W-4 Compliance for 2018

    Release of 2018 Form W-4 Forthcoming

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released additional guidance on Form W-4 compliance in response to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in December 2017. Highlights of the guidance are as follows:

    • While the IRS is currently working to revise Form W-4 to reflect changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the 2018 Form W-4 may not be released until after February 15, 2018. However, the agency designed the 2018 withholding tables in IRS Notice 1036 to work with the Forms W-4 that employees have already furnished their employers.
    • New hires may continue to claim allowances by using the 2017 Form W-4 until 30 days after the 2018 Form W-4 is released.
    • Employees experiencing a change in status that causes a reduction in the number of withholding allowances are not required to furnish employers new withholding allowance certificates until 30 days after the 2018 Form W-4 is released.
    • Employees who have a reduction in the number of withholding allowances solely due to the changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are not required to furnish employers new withholding allowance certificates during 2018.
    • Employees may update their withholding at any time in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Employees who choose to update their withholding may use the 2017 Form W-4 instead of the 2018 Form W-4 to report changes in withholding allowances until 30 days after the 2018 Form W-4 is released.

    Click here to read the additional guidance in its entirety.

    For additional tax information, please visit our section on Employer Tax Laws.

     

    HR News Alerts provided by:

    Team Nash
    2005 E 2700 St, Suite 140, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
    385-234-6754

    Please Note: The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a ‘covered opinion’ or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose.

    The information provided herein is intended solely for the use of our clients and members. You may not display, reproduce, copy, modify, license, sell or disseminate in any manner any information included herein, without the express permission of the Publisher. Kindly read our Terms of Use and respect our Copyright.

    Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc., All rights reserved.

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