IRS to contact late payroll tax remitters
In News Release 2015-136 in December, the IRS stated it would contact employers whose payroll withholding tax remittances appear to be incomplete and/or late. The Service said it would monitor the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System for patterns indicating late or partial deposits and intervene in some cases before an employment tax return is filed, which for most employers is required quarterly. The release did not say how late a deposit would have to be before the IRS makes contact, which could occur by letter, automated phone message, or in some cases, an in-person phone call or visit by a revenue officer.
PPACA employer issues addressed
In Notice 2015-87, the IRS provided additional guidance on employer responsibilities under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), P.L. 111-148. It includes the "market reform" provisions' effect on health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and other employer payment plans. The notice explains, for example, that HRA amounts can be used to purchase excepted coverage such as dental insurance without running afoul of the laws but cannot be used to reimburse the medical expenses of a spouse or dependent of an employee with self-only coverage (for more, see "Tax Practice Corner: Health Reform Prohibits Most Reimbursement Plans," JofA, Sept. 2015, page 78). The notice also provides guidance on application of the Sec. 4980H large-employer mandate to provide coverage and penalty relief for related reporting of coverage for 2015.
Standard mileage rates lower in 2016
Optional standard mileage rates for automobiles' deductible business use, or for medical or moving purposes, went down in 2016 from the year before, as shown in the accompanying chart (Notice 2016-1).
The rate for service to a charitable organization remains 14 cents a mile under Sec. 170(i).
The portion of the business standard mileage rate that is treated as depreciation is unchanged in 2016 from 2015 at 24 cents per mile.