IRS Establishes Worker Misclassification Amnesty Program

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has commenced a program by which companies can admit to having misclassified workers as independent contractors and settle up by paying a portion of back taxes owed, thereby avoiding most penalties and fees assessed during an audit. There are strings attached, of course. The company applying for the amnesty cannot […]

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DOL Ups the Ante on Independent Contractor Misclassification Violations

The Department of Labor (DOL) is launching a program whereby states and the federal government will share information on the misclassification of employees as independent contractors, and the DOL in turn will rat to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The goal is to increase penalties for misclassifying employees and thereby restrict or eliminate the practice. […]

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Proposed Regulations Issued on PPACA Disclosure Requirements

The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Labor (DOL) have joined the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in proposing regulations to fulfill the requirement of 2010's health care reform for insurers to issue full statements of benefits to all affected. These summaries of benefits were mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act […]

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PPACA Requirement for 1099 Reporting Axed

Congress has passed and President Obama has signed legislation to repeal a much-loathed provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that would have required the issuance of an IRS form 1099 for every expenditure of $600 or more. The mandate would have kicked in on Jan. 1, 2012, but HR4 amended PPACA […]

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IRS Releases Final Regulations on Hybrid Pension Plans

Four years after Congress passed the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released final regulations on hybrid pension plans, which combine defined benefits (payout at retirement) with 401(k)-style defined contributions. According to consulting firm Towers Watson, nearly one-quarter of Fortune 100 companies offer hybrid plans, and it is estimated that […]

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IRS Hands Holiday Gift to Companies with Cadillac Health Plans

Commencing Jan. 1, 2011, a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was set to prohibit companies from offering more expensive health insurance plans to top executives, armed with a fine of $100 per day for each such highly insured executive. Previously, this requirement had applied only to self-insured plans, but come […]

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Inflation Stays Flat, and So Do Retirement Savings Limits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced dollar limits for tax-deferred retirement savings accounts for 2011, and, reflecting a flat cost-of-living index for 2010, has left those limits virtually unchanged for the new year. For instance, the limit for 401(k), 457(b) and 403(b) plans remains unchanged at $16,500, with health savings accounts (HSA) holding steady […]

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Bill Introduced to Eliminate/Criminalize Worker Misclassification

Even as the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) begin scouring workplace records for the improper classification of employees as independent contractors, Congress is weighing in with patches to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to put some bite behind the bark. Senator Sherrod Brown, D.-Ohio, has introduced the Employee Misclassification Protection […]

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DOL to Add Still More Inspectors in 2011

Testifying before a House subcommittee, Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Hilda Solis recently detailed plans for fiscal 2011 to use $1.7 billion out of a budget of $116.5 billion, along with 10,957 employees out of 17,800 total, for what she called "worker protection activities." Plans also call for adding another 90 inspectors to the Wage […]

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IRS to Audit 6,000 Firms on Worker Misclassification

Strapped for cash, the Internal Revenue Service has announced plans to audit 6,000 businesses, both large and small, with a focus on worker misclassification, fringe benefits, reimbursed expenses, and executive compensation. If the IRS discovers personnel listed as independent contractors who are in fact company employees, the results could be costly. The firm could owe large […]

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