Payroll Legal Alert

If you didn’t provide employees with notice regarding the health insurance exchanges by March 1, you’re off the hook. The DOL has postponed this notice requirement until late summer or fall, which coincides with the exchanges’ open enrollment period.

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A key portion of the Affordable Care Act health care reform law is the employer play-or-pay provision, also known as the employer mandate. Regulations, which are proposed to become effective for months after Dec. 31, 2013, implement this provision. You may rely on these regs until final regs are issued.

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Well, it took the IRS long enough, but it finally released the official inflation-adjusted figures for 2013. Here’s the roundup.

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For 2012, you could provide employees with up to $125 a month tax-free in qualified mass transit benefits and up to $240 in qualified employer-provided parking. Until, that is, Congress upped the ante by equalizing both benefits at $240 a month, retro­active to the beginning of 2012.

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The DOL is planning to survey workers on their knowledge of basic employment laws, so it can gauge their experiences with worker misclassification. Beware: This may be the best indication yet that the DOL is planning to crack down on employers that misclassify employees as independent contractors.

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Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m., March 10. Graveyard-shift workers, there­­fore, will actually work only seven hours that day.

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Q. Some of our employees punch in 30 minutes before their shifts are scheduled to begin, and by doing so, they’re racking up overtime. They’ve been told many times not to do this, but they don’t listen. Do we have to pay them for the time after they clock in but before their shifts begin?

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To determine what works in providing medical care, the Affordable Care Act health care reform law created the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research In­­sti­­tute. For seven plan years, it will be funded with fees on plan sponsors of self-insured plans, including retiree-only and COBRA plans.

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Timely mailing is timely filing. This “postmark rule” applies to documents sent to the IRS or Tax Court via the U.S. Postal Service, and to certain services provided by IRS-designated private delivery services. Warning: If you’re going to use a private delivery service, be sure that the IRS has sanctioned that particular service.

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Along with the proposed regulations on the 0.9% additional Medicare tax, the IRS has updated and supplemented its questions and answers regarding this new tax. The latest FAQs stress that the additional tax applies per employee.

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