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
Feb102016

Averaging Full-time and Full-time Equivalent Employees and Why it Matters

For purposes of the Affordable Care Act, employers average their number of employees across the months in the year to see whether they will be an applicable large employer. This is important to do because two provisions of the health care law apply only to ALEs and are now in effect. These are the employer shared responsibility provision and the employer information reporting provision for offers of minimum essential coverage. In addition, self-insured ALEs that is, employers who sponsor self-insured group health plans have additional provider information reporting requirements. Remember that the vast majority of employers will fall below the ALE threshold number of employees and, therefore, will not be subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions. Here are definitions to three terms that are significant in determining whether your organization is an ALE. In general:

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb102016

Do Your Federal Taxes for Free

You can prepare and electronically file your federal taxes for free using IRS Free File. It is fast, safe and easy to use. IRS Free File does the hard work for you with either brand-name tax software or online fillable forms.

Here are six facts that you should know about Free File.

1. Free Options for All. If you make $62,000 or less as do 70 percent of Americans you can choose easy-to-use software to do your taxes and e-file for free. If you make more than $62,000, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Either way, it’s free.

2. Free File Does the Hard Work. IRS Free File is a partnership between the IRS and tax software manufacturers that make their products available for free. You don’t need to be a tax expert. The software will help find tax breaks you may be able to claim but might overlook, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. The software asks the questions; you provide the answers. It will choose the right tax forms and do the math for you. Free File can also help with the health care law tax provisions.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb032016

How High are Corporate Income Tax Rates in Your State? — Top State Marginal Corporate Income Tax Rates in 2016

This week’s tax map comes from our latest report on state corporate income tax rates, and illustrates the top marginal rate in each state … from the Tax Foundation …

The report’s key findings include:

Forty-four states levy a corporate income tax. Rates range from 4 percent in North Carolina to 12 percent in Iowa.

Four states, Minnesota, Alaska, Connecticut, and New Jersey, and the District of Columbia levy corporate income tax rates of 9 percent or higher.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb032016

Mark Your Calendar: Employer Tax Filing Deadlines

As an employer, you have various tax-reporting responsibilities. These responsibilities have expanded. What’s more, the deadlines for some filings have or will be changed. Here’s what you need to know.

W-2s

You must furnish to every employee who worked for your company during the year a statement of wages and certain benefits on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. You also have to send copies of all your W-2s to the Social Security Administration so it can log employees’ work credits for purposes of Social Security and Medicare eligibility.

Reporting for 2015 wages in 2016. The W-2 must be furnished to each employee or former employee no later than February 1, 2016. This deadline applies whether you give employees a paper form or send it to them electronically (after obtaining their prior permission to receive the form in this manner). You must send copies of all your W-2s, along with a transmittal, IRS Form W-3 (Form W-3SS Download Adobe Reader to read this link content if filing paper copies), to the Social Security Administration. The deadline for paper forms is February 29, 2016. The deadline for electronic submissions is March 31, 2016.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan272016

Map: State-Local Tax Burden Rankings for FY 2012

By Nicole Kaeding, the Tax Foundation

State tax discussions generally focus on two variables: the amount that a state collects in revenue, and the various marginal rates of taxation that a state charges. There is a third important factor to consider: a state’s tax burden. Tax burdens measure the percentage of total income that goes to taxes. Our new report, State-Local Tax Burden Rankings, calculates the tax burden for each state.

The map below shows the results for all 50 states.

Click to read more ...