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Choosing the Right HCM Software Provider Is Essential to ACA Compliance

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The complex nature of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is well documented, and for good reason. The criteria for applicable large employers (ALEs) contain a sea of intricacies, which are tough to keep up with. It’s no wonder, then, that so many employers rely on payroll providers to assist them with their ACA duties.

But not all human capital management (HCM) providers are equipped to handle ACA challenges, and it’s no consolation that the ACA does not hold third parties accountable for mistakes.

So what’s an employer to do?

Consider choosing an HCM provider that offers the educational, monitoring, evaluation and reporting tools needed for compliance.

Teach You the Ropes

As an ALE, you’re subject to the ACA’s employer shared responsibility (ESR) provisions. Your HCM provider should help you understand your responsibilities, which include:

  • identifying all full-time employees, including full-time equivalents, as defined by federal law;
  • providing the IRS with detailed information on full-time employees;
  • determining the type of coverage offered to full-time workers;
  • monitoring employment changes that may cause you to have 50 or more full-time employees, which would subject you to the ESR; and
  • evaluating your group coverage to ensure it meets ACA standards.

Your provider should explain key aspects of the ACA in plain language and provide you with ongoing legislative updates.

Alert You of Critical Occurrences

Chances are, you’ve got a full schedule, which makes monitoring the issues affecting compliance a burden. Still, it’s a necessary task, which can be simplified by an ACA dashboard that:

  • tells you when you’re reaching ALE status;
  • alerts you when full-time and part-time employees are nearing full-time status; and
  • notifies you when employees’ look-back measurement periods are ending.

Above all, alerts and notifications give you timely information and the ability to better manage hours of service for your employees.

Assess Historical and Current Data

At the heart of ACA noncompliance, you’ll likely find errors that could have been avoided through careful data analysis.

For example, employees must be properly categorized as full-time, part-time or seasonal. In addition, accuracy of hours worked is important to determining ALE status, which employees are full-time, and the end-of-year reporting process. Mistakes in these areas can be caught and corrected beforehand through periodic data reviews.

An enhanced evaluation tool lets you access audit trails of historical data, plus review current ACA information. These reports are crucial to regulatory compliance and can help you fulfill your reporting requirements. Evaluation also gives you actionable insights into your responsibilities as an employer.

Reporting That Satisfies IRS Criteria

ALEs must report the total annual cost of their employer-sponsored group health coverage on employees’ W-2, provide employees with a statement of coverage, and report to the IRS through Forms 1094/1095 –B or –C.

The information provided on these forms needs to be correct because the IRS uses it to determine whether:

  • an employee qualifies for premium tax credits;
  • you’re complying with the “pay or play” mandate; and
  • individuals have the minimum essential coverage.

Considering the extensive scope of ACA reporting, a payroll system that facilitates the following is of paramount importance:

  • employment status changes,
  • coverage affordability and other qualifying factors,
  • trends in employee hours and ALE status, and
  • minimum value and “pay or play” calculations.

In the end, the right payroll provider has a simple goal: to relieve you of your worries by mitigating compliance risks, including those associated with the ACA.



Author Bio: Barclay has over 20 years of experience working as a consultant. He has worked in the consulting practices of accounting firms Ernst & Young and Causey Demgen & Moore. Barclay joined Paycom in 2011 and is currently a Tax Research Analyst. Robbie is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

6 Compliance Changes to Check in 2017

6 Compliance Changes to Check in 2017

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Compliance Deadlines and Issues to Watch in 2017

Employers can expect developments  in 2017 related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requirements and several other workplace regulations concerning compliance. Here’s a closer look.

 

  1. Fair Labor Standards Act

On Nov. 22, 2016, Judge Amos L. Mazzant III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued an injunction delaying the effective date of the new overtime rule. The rule would have raised the minimum salary threshold for exempt executive, administrative and professional employees to $913 per week, from $455 per week and the minimum annual salary threshold for highly compensated employees to $134,004, from $100,000.

How long the injunction will remain in place – and the fate of the rule – is anyone’s guess. Meanwhile, employers should adhere to current FLSA requirements and keep an eye out for the outcome of the Department of Labor’s current appeal.

 

  1. Affordable Care Act

Although the leadership in the House of Representatives currently is attempting to repeal ACA, for now, employers still remain responsible for all ACA tracking and reporting requirements. The deadline for issuing ACA forms 1095-B and -C to employees has been extended from Jan. 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. However, the due date for filing ACA forms with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is unchanged. For 2016 tax year, applicable large employers must:

  • Submit paper forms 1094-B and -C and 1095-B and -C by Feb. 28, 2017

 

  • Submit electronic forms 1094-B and -C and 1095-B and -C by March 31, 2017

 

The IRS has extended the “good faith effort” penalty waiver to 2017. Employers who submit inaccurate or incomplete reporting information may be relieved from penalties, as long as they can show they made a “good faith effort” to comply with the ACA’s requirements.

Note that although the 40-percent “Cadillac” tax on high-cost employer health plans has been delayed until 2020, employers should consider assessing the impact of the tax on future business goals now. Once the impact is understood, a feasible strategy can be put in place.

 

  1. Equal Employment Opportunity Reporting

The EEOC has revised the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) to include collecting pay data from employers, including federal contractors, with over 100 employees.

Under the original proposal, employers would submit their annual EEO-1 report – which would include W-2 pay data and hours worked – to the Joint Reporting Committee by September 30 of each year. However, the EEOC has issued an updated proposal that would move the due date for the 2017 report from Sept. 30, 2017 to March 31, 2018. In subsequent years, the deadline will be March 31.

Be sure to monitor the revisions to the EEO-1 report, and prepare a strategy for implementation in case the changes are enacted.

 

  1. Citizenship and Immigration Services Reporting

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently updated Form I-9. After Jan. 21, 2017, employers must start using the new form.

 

  1. Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave

Many states, cities and counties have approved minimum wage increases and mandatory paid sick leave, some of which will take effect in 2017.

 

  1. Federal Contract Workers

The minimum wage for federal contract workers increases to $10.20 per hour Jan. 1, 2017. Certain federal contractors also must provide their employees with up to seven days of paid sick leave per year.

Staying ahead of potential and actual regulatory changes is easy with an HR and payroll system that generates the necessary forms and enables electronic filing to simplify reporting. It’s also important to partner with an HR technology provider who stays abreast of tentative regulatory matters and quickly updates their system accordingly, so that you have the right tools for any changes.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. Accordingly, Paycom and the writer of the above content do not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the above information. It does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, or professional consulting. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal or other professional services.


hlively

by Heidi Lively


Author Bio: Heidi Lively serves as Paycom’s Additional Business Manager, where she focuses on the compliance and service of additional business products. Previously, she served customers in the Paycom Service Department where she quickly rose through the ranks to earn a team leader position. Having performed in a leadership position for a number of years, Heidi has been able to cultivate and influence others through Paycom’s leadership initiatives. Heidi earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Reimbursement: Small businesses can now reimburse employees who purchase their own health insurance

Small Businesses Can Now Compensate Employees Who Purchase Their Own Health Insurance

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Small Businesses Can Now Compensate Employees Who Purchase Their Own Health Insurance

New, small employer ACA requirements effective for plans beginning after Dec. 31, 2016

President Barack Obama recently announced a small gift for small businesses as it relates to insurance. Title 18 of the new 21st Century Cures Act, signed by President Obama on Dec. 13, 2016, allows small employers the use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to compensate employees who buy their own health insurance for themselves and their families.

Reimbursement Amounts

Maximum annual benefits for the individual are $4,950 or $10,000 a year for families. Employers are to report the total amount of benefits received on their employees’ W-2 forms, beginning with the 2017 calendar year. After 2016, the above dollar amounts are subject to annual cost-of-living increases.

Reimbursement Details

The reimbursements are for the cost of employee health insurance plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace or on the individual market, effective after Dec. 31, 2016. Reimbursements only can be funded by the employer, and cannot include employee salary reduction contributions. The employee’s out-of-pocket plan must provide for the payment or reimbursement of medical care expenses that are incurred by the employee or the employee’s family members and the employee must provide proof of health coverage to their employer. HRAs must be offered on the same terms to all eligible employees, but employers may exclude from eligibility employees who have not completed 90 days of service, have not reached age 25, part-time or seasonal employees, employees included in a collective bargaining agreement and employees who are non-resident aliens who have no earned income derived from sources within the U.S.

Notice Requirements

Small employers must give an annual notice to eligible employees:

  • at least 90 days before the start of the year, or,
  • at least 90 days before the employee’s initial eligibility date, or
  • no more than 90 days after the legislative enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act; whichever is later.

 

The annual HRA notice must:

  1. state the amount of the employee’s permitted benefits
  2. educate the employee on how to disclose the reimbursement amount to any health insurance exchange if an employee chooses to apply for the premium assistance tax credit
  3. warn about taxes that may be charged if the employee does not have minimum essential coverage each month
  4. remind the employee that the HRA may be included in Gross income

 

If the business fails to follow the above requirements, it will be subject to a $50 per-employee per-incident penalty, up to $2,500 per calendar year, unless the failures were due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.

This HRA Isn’t for Every Employer

The 21st Century Cures Act created a new type of HRA called the “qualified small employer HRA” (SEHRA). The IRS code does not consider SEHRAs as group health plans, therefore making them unqualified for the excise tax levied on group health plans that don’t meet the ACA market reform requirements. If your company is considered an applicable large employer and/or has at least 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees then you are not eligible to provide a SEHRA.  Additionally, you cannot provide an SEHRA if you offer a group health plan to any of your employees.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. Accordingly, Paycom and the writer of the above content do not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the above information. It does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, or professional consulting. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal or other professional services.


hlively

by Heidi Lively


Author Bio: Heidi Lively serves as Paycom’s Additional Business Manager, where she focuses on the compliance and service of additional business products. Previously, she served customers in the Paycom Service Department where she quickly rose through the ranks to earn a team leader position. Having performed in a leadership position for a number of years, Heidi has been able to cultivate and influence others through Paycom’s leadership initiatives. Heidi earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2016

The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2016

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The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2016

With 2017 just around the corner, now is a good time to celebrate the closing of a perplexing year for businesses across the country with a re-cap of the top 10 most popular blog posts of 2016.

Over the last 12 months, employers and HR professionals have been on high-alert regarding compliance-related issues like overtime expansion and the evolution of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, other HR matters, such as avoiding payroll mistakes and HR’s evolving role have continued to be popular and ever-present themes. Here’s the 10 most read Paycom blogs from the past year.

  1. 5 Biggest Payroll Mistakes to Avoid

Employee misclassifications, withholding errors, late payments, filings and record keeping issues all are potential payroll landmines. Here’s a look, originally from March, into the top five payroll issues and how to avoid each one.

  1. How the Results of the Presidential Election Could Affect Overtime Expansion

This Nov. 10 post followed the final results of the 2016 presidential election and was by far our top Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)/overtime expansion post of 2016.

  1. 3 Things Employers Should Know About Wage Garnishments

Employers who don’t pay attention to the details of each wage garnishment order could find themselves facing penalties for noncompliance. Knowing these three things that we originally shared in January could help you mitigate risk and reduce your company’s liability.

  1. Department of Labor Announces Details of Final Overtime Rule

After months of speculation, this blog covered the details of the final overtime rule.

  1. U.S. Department of Labor Moves to Finalize Overtime Expansion

Paycom has published 14 blog posts about overtime expansion throughout 2016. This post from March was the second most popular article about the now delayed FLSA overtime expansion rule.

  1. New PBJ Reporting Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities 

This post from April discussed how the latest ACA payroll-based journal (PBJ) reporting affected nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

  1. Exploring Overtime Expansion: Commissions and Bonuses

This piece breaks down how the now delayed overtime expansion rule could impact pay structures that include bonuses and commissions.

  1. How ACA Form Extension Affects Employees, Individual Mandate

This deadline was on many HR professionals minds because it marked the last day certain employers could fulfill the requirement to provide employees with the IRS Form 1095-C.

  1. 5 Ways HR Can Make Your Company Better

There’s a new generation of HR professionals who– with the right tools – can bring value to employees and the bottom line. Our March 10 post states that if your HR department only hires, fires and fills out forms, then you are missing out.

  1. ACA’s Employer Reporting Requirements Extended

If there is one thing that is synonymous with ACA, it is change. On Dec. 28, 2015, the IRS announced in Notice 2016-4 that the due dates for the employer reporting requirement were to be extended. While this ACA post went live just a few days before 2016 arrived, it is definitely worth listing as our final top blog post of 2016.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. Accordingly, Paycom and the writer of the above content do not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the above information. It does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, or professional consulting. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal or other professional services.



Author Bio: A writer, speaker and young business leader, Jason has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom. A featured writer on human capital management technology, leadership and the Affordable Care Act, Jason launched Paycom’s blog and social media channels, helping empower organizations around the nation. Jason is attuned to the needs of businesses and recently helped develop a tool to aid organizations in their pursuit to comply with the ACA; one of the largest changes in healthcare the country has seen. While working in athletics for ESPN and FoxSports, Jason learned the importance of hard work and branding. In his free time he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and exploring new areas to strengthen his business acumen.

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