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
May272015

Small Business Retirement Plan Penalty Relief Expires Soon

You still have time to file retirement plan tax returns for your small business. Under the IRS special penalty relief program, you can avoid stiff penalties for filing late. However, you must act soon. Here are some key points you should know about this program: Late Filing Penalties. Plan administrators and sponsors who fail to file required forms can face penalties of up to $15,000 per return. The plan usually must file Form 5500-EZ each year. Penalty Relief Deadline. A special program provides penalty relief for late filers. Those who are eligible can avoid these penalties by filing late returns by June 2, 2015.

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Wednesday
May272015

Find out how ACA affects Employers with fewer than 50 Employees

Most employers have fewer than 50 full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees and are therefore not subject to the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility provision.

If an employer has fewer than 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, on average during the prior year, the employer is not an ALE for the current calendar year. Therefore, the employer is not subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions or the employer information reporting provisions for the current year. Employers with 50 or fewer employees can purchase health insurance coverage for its employees through the Small Business Health Options Program – better known as the SHOP Marketplace.

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Tuesday
May192015

Married Couples and the U.S. Income Tax Code

By Richard Borean, The Tax Foundation

New report examines why some married couples are penalized by the income tax code while others receive a bonus.

With wedding season just around the corner, many couples are excited about the prospect of saving some money on their tax returns next year. However, while some couples will be delighted to find that they’ve received additional refunds, others will be disappointed to find that the U.S. income tax code actually penalizes them for filing jointly.

According to the latest report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, an unintended feature of the income tax system is that the combined tax liability of a married couple may be higher or lower than their combined tax burden if they had remained single. This is called the marriage penalty or marriage bonus.

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Tuesday
May192015

Spring Cleaning of Your Payroll Records

Once you complete your year-end payroll processes, you should consider cleaning up your old files. Because determining which records you can destroy and which records you must retain can be tricky, the APA offers this basic guideline for payroll record retention requirements. The Internal Revenue Code requires all employers that withhold and pay federal income, social security, and Medicare taxes to maintain certain records for each employee. Failure to meet these requirements can result in sizable penalties and large settlement awards if you are unable to provide the required information when requested by the IRS or in an employment-related lawsuit.

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Tuesday
May122015

The Affordable Care Act and Employers: Why Workforce Size Matters

The Affordable Care Act contains several tax provisions that affect employers. Under the ACA, the size and structure of a workforce small, or large helps determine which parts of the law apply to which employers. The number of employees an employer had during the prior year determines whether it is an applicable large employer for the current year. This is important because two provisions of the Affordable Care Act apply only to applicable large employers. These are the employer shared responsibility provision and the employer information reporting provisions for offers of minimum essential coverage.

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