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. 

Tuesday
Aug042015

Chicago Adopts Highest Sales Tax Among Major Cities

By Jared Walczak, The Tax Foundation

When Cook County, Illinois adopted a one percentage point county sales tax increase on July 15th, its county seat — Chicago — vaulted to the top of a dubious list: major cities with the highest sales tax. Including state, county, city, and public transit sales tax impositions, Chicago’s combined sales tax will return to its former high of 10.25 percent as of January 1.

I’ve received a number of calls and emails asking if Chicago’s pending rate represents the highest combined state and local sales tax in the nation. It won’t. That distinction goes to a handful of towns in Tennessee and one in Arkansas (with 12 percent combined rates), all with populations of a few thousand people or less. A smattering of small municipalities in Arizona, Louisiana, and Oklahoma also feature higher combined rates.

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Tuesday
Aug042015

Senate Committee Approves Two-Year Tax Extenders Bill

Last week, the Senate Finance Committee approved a two-year extension of more than 50 expired tax provisions, known as “tax extenders,” by a vote of 23–3. This action came just one week after the NAM and several leading associations urged the congressional tax-writing committees to take immediate action on tax extenders. The committee-approved package revives and extends through 2016 a number of tax provisions, including enhanced Section 179 expensing; first-year 50 percent expensing, also known as bonus depreciation; the R&D tax credit; deferral for active financing income; and the “look-through” rule for controlled foreign corporations. These are critical to helping manufacturers invest, grow, create jobs and compete in the global marketplace. The NAM applauded the committee’s action in our Shopfloor blog and will continue to advocate swift passage and enactment of these key tax provisions.

Tuesday
Aug042015

Overview of the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions

The Affordable Care Act contains specific responsibilities for employers. The size and structure of your workforce small, large, or part of a group helps determine what applies to you. Employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees will need to file an annual information return reporting whether and what health insurance they offered employees. In addition, they are subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions. All employers that are applicable large employers are subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions, including federal, state, local, and Indian tribal government employers.

An employer’s size is determined by the number of employees. Generally, if your organization has 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees, you will be considered a large employer. For purposes of this provision, a full-time employee is an individual employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week.

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Tuesday
Jul282015

How High Are Gas Taxes in Your State?

By Colby Pastre, The Tax Foundation

This week’s tax map takes a look at state gasoline tax rates, using data from a recent report by the American Petroleum Institute. Pennsylvania has the highest rate of 51.60 cents per gallon (cpg), and is followed closely by New York (45.99 cpg), Hawaii (45.10 cpg), and California (42.35 cpg). On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska has the lowest rate at 12.25 cpg, but New Jersey (14.50 cpg) and South Carolina (16.75 cpg) aren’t far behind. These rates do not include the additional 18.40 cent federal excise tax.

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Tuesday
Jul282015

Free Webinar - Correcting Retirement Plan Mistakes Summer 2015 Updates

When: August 4, 2015; 1:00 p.m. (Central)

How: Register for this event. You will use the same link to attend the event.

Learn how Revenue Procedures 2015-27 and 2015-28 make it easier to:

• Correct elective deferrals failures

• Fix ongoing IRC 415 annual addition limit failures affecting some plans

• Recover overpayments paid to plan participants

Click to read more ...