Social Security Administration Resumes Sending No-Match Letters

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed its practice of sending no-match letters to notify employers when any of their employees' submitted Social Security numbers do not correspond to a valid number on record. The SSA temporarily stopped issuing the letters in 2009 when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), under pressure from both unions […]

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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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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 Begins Audit of 6,000 Firms for Misclassification and Other Abuses

As reported here this past November when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced its plans, the federal tax agency has commenced the first phase of its audit of 6,000 firms of all sizes and industries to root out abuses of executive pay, fringe benefits, record-keeping, and misclassification of employees as independent contractors. The Employment Tax […]

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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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Income Distribution (and Taxes) in the United States

I found this (now-purloined) graph prepared by an economist writing about health care in the United States in the New York Times. His purpose was much different than mine. I’m reproducing it to show how politicians blatantly lie every time they say they’re going to tax the wealthy and leave the middle class alone. Yeah, […]

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What Takes 7.6 Billion Hours to Produce Each Year?

Now, if you think about it, there’s only one institution in our nation capable of wasting that many hours of people’s time…our good ol’ government. For the answer to what takes that long, think April 15. Yup, it takes all of us and our tax preparers and accountants and whoever else is involved 7.6 billion […]

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Ouch, Now That Hurts: Returned Bonuses May Be Taxable!

A tax law doctrine known as “constructive receipt” could put those AIG employees who returned their bonuses in jeopardy of having to pay taxes on them anyway. Goes like this: Constructive receipt prevents people from gaming the system, say by performing work in late 2008 and asking to be paid in 2009 to reduce tax […]

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