Welcome to the IMA Tax Policy Blog. The blog format reflects our efforts to provide IMA members with timely, relevant and thought provoking information in a form that is accessible for easy reference. IMA’s Tax Policy Blog will be updated on a regular basis. Weekly news update emails will be sent out to notify subscribers of new information posted on the blog. IMA members are welcome to submit material for the blog, or request specific information. Simply email Editor Stefany Henson at shenson@ima-net.org with your information or request. Editorial submissions are subject to review. 

Wednesday
Oct292014

IRS Announces 2015 Pension Plan Limitations; Taxpayers May Contribute up to $18,000 to their 401(k) plans in 2015

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2015. Many of the pension plan limitations will change for 2015 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. However, other limitations will remain unchanged because the increase in the index did not meet the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. Highlights include the following: The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $17,500 to $18,000.

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Wednesday
Oct292014

McGladrey Survey: Middle Market Tax Burden Rising, Threatening Job Growth

Majority say tax reform law has stifled hiring, expansion plans, M&As

The vast majority of middle market companies have experienced tax hikes since the beginning of 2013 as a result of the “fiscal cliff” tax deal that became law last year and subsequent tax changes, reports McGladrey LLP, the leading U.S. provider of assurance, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market. According to McGladrey’s survey of 525 middle market executives, 79 percent of middle market firms saw their tax bills increase at least somewhat last year. More than half of those that had to cut their workforces in 2013 reported the law contributed to that decision.

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Wednesday
Oct222014

Information for Employers about Their Responsibilities Under the Affordable Care Act

If you are an employer, the number of employees in your business will affect what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Employers with 50 or more full-time and full-time-equivalent employees are generally considered to be “applicable large employers” (ALEs) under the employer shared responsibility provisions of the ACA. Applicable large employers are subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions. However, more than 95 percent of employers are not ALEs and are not subject to these provisions because they have fewer than 50 full-time and full-time-equivalent employees.

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Wednesday
Oct222014

Evaluating the Impact of Thomas Piketty’s Wealth Tax on America’s Poor, Rich, and Middle Class

In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, bestselling author and economist Thomas Piketty argues for a tax on wealth, ranging from 0.5 to 2 percent, in order to combat what he views to be the most pressing economic issue of our time: income inequality. This wealth tax is a fundamental element of Piketty’s policy recommendations. However, the implementation of this kind of tax in America is not only impractical, but could also result in large declines in investment, employment, wages, and national output, according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

“We found that Piketty’s wealth tax would indeed reduce income and wealth inequality, but at the cost of making everyone significantly poorer,” said Tax Foundation Fellow Michael Schuyler, PhD. “Further, it would be profoundly impractical, considering the large, additional compliance costs it would place on many households, the difficulty of enforcing such a tax, and a constitutional barrier limiting the power of the federal government to impose a direct tax. These problems would not go away even if the wealth tax were global.”

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Wednesday
Oct152014

How Much Do Americans Pay in Cell Phone Taxes?

Americans pay 17 percent in federal, state and local cell phone taxes, according to a new study from Scott Mackey and Joseph Henchman of the Tax Foundation. On average, wireless customers pay states and local governments an average tax rate of 11.23 percent, in addition to a 5.82 percent federal tax rate. Notably, the cell phone tax is twice the amount of taxes on other consumer goods and services, and some customers (in Washington, Nebraska, New York, Florida, Illinois, Rhode Island and Missouri) pay taxes worth more than one-fifth of their cell phone bill. The amount of taxes vary between states:

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