Employee benefits

Health care reform essentials

New health care regulations create many challenges and opportunities for businesses. Here are 10 things CPAs should know about the new rules to help the businesses they serve make wise decisions.

Regulations provide guidance for small-employer premium tax credit

The IRS issued final regulations on the Sec. 45R credit for small employers that offer health insurance coverage for employees (T.D. 9672). The regulations provide guidance on how to determine full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs) and average annual wages, how to calculate the credit, and what is a “qualifying arrangement” for purposes

Businesses lagging in preparation for new health care laws

Many U.S. employers are lacking in preparation for—and awareness of—new health care laws, according to a survey. More than one-third (36%) of more than 800 corporate decision-makers said they are not very familiar with the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, according to a survey

IRS provides simplified employer health care coverage reporting

The IRS released final regulations to implement simplified reporting requirements of employers to report health care coverage information under Secs. 6055 and 6056 starting in 2015 (T.D. 9660 and T.D. 9661). Sec. 6055 requires providers of minimum essential coverage and providers of coverage through an employer’s group health plan to

IRS delays health coverage mandate another year for midsize employers

The IRS in February delayed the so-called shared-responsibility requirement under Sec. 4980H for employers who have 50 to 99 full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs) in 2014. These employers will now have until 2016 to offer health care coverage to their employees or be subject to the shared-responsibility penalty. However, these employers will

IRS issues 2015 inflation adjustments for HSAs

The IRS issued the calendar year 2015 inflation-adjusted figures for the annual contribution limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and the minimum deductible amounts and maximum out-of-pocket expense amounts for high-deductible health plans (Rev. Proc. 2014-30). Individuals who participate in a health plan with a high deductible are permitted a

Guidance issued on application of Windsor to retirement plans

Administrators of qualified retirement plans must recognize the same-sex spouses of legally married participants as of June 26, 2013, under guidance issued by the IRS but will not be required to amend their plans to retroactively recognize participants’ legal same-sex marriages before that date (Notice 2014-19). The Supreme Court, in

Plan administrators can assume certain rollovers are valid

In Rev. Rul. 2014-9, the IRS ruled that a plan administrator for a plan that is qualified under Sec. 401(a) may reasonably conclude in the situations described in the ruling that a potential rollover contribution is valid under Regs. Sec. 1.401(a)(31)-1, Q&A-14(b)(2), which governs the treatment of a plan that

How to calculate employer health care responsibilities

In compliance with new health care employer responsibility regulations, two halves indeed equal a whole for employers when they determine their number of full-time employees. To determine whether a business is subject to the employer mandate penalty under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), P.L. 111-148, the business

Simplified employer health care coverage reporting announced

On Wednesday, the IRS released final regulations to implement simplified reporting requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, which requires employers to report health care coverage information under Secs. 6055 and 6056 starting in 2015 (T.D. 9660 and T.D. 9661). Also Wednesday, the Department of Health

Religious exemptions from the health care individual mandate

The January 2014 Tax Practice Corner, “Calculating the Health Care Individual Mandate Penalty,” (page 54) outlined how the penalty under Sec. 5000A, enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), P.L. 111-148, is calculated. The column also listed individuals to whom the mandate does not apply,

Seven ways for small businesses to rein in health care costs

Editor's note: On Feb. 10, the IRS delayed the penalty for employers with 50 to 99 full-time equivalent employees. Click here for details. New health care regulations in the United States have small business leaders bracing for increased costs and eager to save where they can. Although it was delayed

Regs. permit midyear cuts in employer contributions to 401(k) plans

The IRS issued final regulations that permit employers to make midyear reductions or suspensions of safe-harbor matching or nonelective contributions to retirement plans in certain situations (T.D. 9641). To qualify for salary deferral, Sec. 401(k) plans must meet certain nondiscrimination rules that require non-highly compensated employees to participate in the

Settlement of workers’ comp claim partially excludable

The Tax Court permitted a taxpayer to exclude 10% of her settlement from an employment suit against her former employer, because that portion of the settlement was compensation for her physical injuries and physical sickness and was a reasonable estimate of the amount. Sec. 104(a)(1) excludes from income “amounts received

Notice answers many post-Windsor questions on cafeteria plans, FSAs

The IRS continues to consider the effects of the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision on federal tax law, and its most recent guidance deals with elections and reimbursements for cafeteria plans, health savings accounts (HSAs), and health, adoption, and dependent care flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) (Notice 2014-1). Windsor, 133 S. Ct.


6 key areas of change for accountants and auditors

New accounting standards on revenue recognition, leases, and credit losses present implementation challenges. This independently-written report identifies the hurdles that accounting professionals face and provides tips for overcoming the challenges.


How tax reform will impact individual taxpayers

Amy Wang, a CPA who is a senior technical manager for tax advocacy at the AICPA, answers to some of the most common questions on how the new tax reform law will impact individual taxpayers.