The proper way for S corporations to report health benefits of shareholders

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Employee Benefits, Health Insurance, Small Business, Taxes

U.S. federal tax law differentiates the tax accounting methods for employee health benefits from the treatment of self-employed individuals. Operators of small businesses organized as S corporations under state law are considered to the self-employed for income tax reporting but are typically also employees of the S corporation. Employer paid health benefits are most commonly […]

Surprising lawmaker response to small business tax relief effort

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Employee Benefits, Small Business, Taxes

Today a representative from the Washington DC office of the National Federation of Independent Businesses met with a staff member at NJ Senator Menendez’ office in a last minute attempt to gain support for small business tax relief from the Affordable Care Act. See yesterday’s blog post for background on this story. Up to 100,000 small […]

Last minute tax relief efforts in NJ and PA

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Employee Benefits, News and Politics, Taxes

I was honored tonight to have been asked by the health care policy lobbyist Keven Kuhlman for NFIB to help prepare a last minute lobbying campaign to appeal for tax relief to the harsh 2015 small business penalties under IRC 4980D. I prepared six letters for Pennsylvania and New Jersey lawmakers. Kuhlman has a morning […]

Bad tax advice and gobblygook

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Employee Benefits, Tax Planning, Taxes

It has always been tough for small business owners to get basic straightforward information they need to avoid tax problems. But this year I notice the problem is magnified many times by a flood of misinformation and gobblygook published on blogs and promoted in social media, This is especially true for issues surrounding the Affordable […]

Avoidable small business taxes in 2015

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Employee Benefits, Health Insurance, Small Business, Taxes

Small business owners know that some taxes are unavoidable. Taxes are the price we pay to live and work in this society. Yet other taxes are simply the result of sloppy management or failing to keep up with changes in the tax law. It is this latter category of small business taxes that is grabbing most of my attention […]

Don’t believe what you read online, especially about health insurance

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Employee Benefits, Taxes

This hit me as a shocker today when I Googled the term “taxation of health insurance benefits”. I found that every reference on the first page of the Google listing, excluding the two IRS web site references, either contained errors or the advice was out-of-date and now incorrect.  (IRS web pages have been known to contain […]

11 tax traps for small business health plans

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Accounting, Employee Benefits, Small Business, Taxes

The issue starts out innocently enough: a small business employer simply wants to help employees pay for the cost of health care. So the employer voluntary offers to make a payment for that purpose. That’s where the simplicity ends and the tangle of tax laws comes into play. It is far too easy for an employer […]

Retroactive termination of employee benefit plans

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Accounting, Employee Benefits, Small Business, Taxes

Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet! Lately I’ve written that the general rule is that you can not retroactively terminate or amend an employee benefit plan but that under certain circumstances it may be better to do so than not. This is not a topic that lends itself well to a blog post. […]

What options are available to employers who wish to help employees afford the cost of health care?

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Employee Benefits, Small Business, Tax Planning, Taxes

Provisions of the Affordable Care Act dramatically changed the tax treatment of employer-paid health benefits. Some of the most popular traditional health plans of the recent past now trigger an extremely harsh tax on the employer. Taxes of up to $36,500 per employee per year kicked in on July 1, 2015 for businesses with less than […]

Quoting fees for tax return preparation

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Tax Planning, Taxes

Another accountant proposed the concept that there is significant business value of having a standardized and rehearsed response to an initial call from a potential client asking about tax work. I agree. We presume that a primary motivation of the caller is to push for price information. But giving a price with limited information is risky and, […]