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IRS Releases Final Versions of 3 ACA Forms

The final versions of 2017 employer forms for Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting were released by the IRS. This includes:

  • Form 1095-B Health Coverage
  • Form 1094-B Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns
  • Form 1095-C Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage

The final versions instructions and Form 1094-C Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns have not yet been finalized. For more information, visit the IRS website.

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IRS Issues Statement on Health Care Reporting Requirement

For the upcoming 2018 filing season, the IRS‎ will not accept electronically filed tax returns where the taxpayer does not address the health coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act.‎ The IRS will not accept the electronic tax return until the taxpayer indicates whether they had coverage, had an exemption or will make a shared responsibility payment. In addition, returns filed on paper that do not address the health coverage requirements may be suspended pending the receipt of additional information and any refunds may be delayed.

 

‎To avoid refund and processing delays when filing 2017 tax returns in 2018, taxpayers should indicate whether they and everyone on their return had coverage, qualified for an exemption from the coverage requirement or are making an individual shared responsibility payment. This process reflects the requirements of the ACA and the IRS’s obligation to administer the health care law.

‎Taxpayers remain obligated to follow the law and pay what they may owe at the point of filing‎. The 2018 filing season will be the first time the IRS will not accept tax returns that omit this information. After a review of our process and discussions with the National Taxpayer Advocate, the IRS has determined identifying omissions and requiring taxpayers to provide health coverage information at the point of filing makes it easier for the taxpayer to successfully file a tax return and minimizes related refund delays.

2018 OASDI Wage Base

The Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) taxable wage base will increase to $128,700 in 2018, up from $127,200 in 2017. A two percent cost-of-living increase will also take effect in 2018.

2018 Tax Provisions Announced

2018 tax provisions have been announced for use on tax returns filed in 2019. They include:

  • Monthly limitation for the qualified transportation fringe benefit - $260
  • Personal exemption - $4,150
  • Adoption tax credit - $13,840
  • Standard deduction for married filing jointly - $13,000
  • Standard deduction for single taxpayers and married filing separately - $6,500
  • Standard deduction for heads of household - $9,550
  • Foreign earned income exclusion - $104,100

2018 Pension Plan Adjustments Announced

The IRS has announced 2018 pension plan adjustments, including:

  • Contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans - $18,500
  • Catch-up contribution limit -$6,000
  • Contribution limit for SIMPLE retirement accounts - $12,500

2018 State UI Wage Base Updates

Here are the most recent states to announce their 2018 State UI wage bases:

  • Delaware - $16,500
  • Kentucky - $10,200 (unchanged)
  • New Mexico - $24,200
  • North Carolina - $23,500
  • Oklahoma - $17,600
  • West Virginia - $12,000 (unchanged)

For more information and updates, visit our SUTA Wage Bases page.

2018 Minimum Wage Rate Updates

The following states will have minimum wage rate increases in 2018:

  • Alaska - $9.84
  • New Mexico - $8.85 for employees who work within the unincorporated area of Bernalillo County outside of the Albuquerque city limits.

For more information and updates, visit our Minimum Wage Rates page.

Massachusetts Meal and Rest Breaks

Effective April 1, 2018, employers with at least six workers must provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and related conditions. This includes private nursing space, more frequent or longer paid or unpaid breaks, and altered work schedules.

Employers should determine effective, reasonable accommodations and distribute them in a written policy. New employees should receive this notice at the start of their employment and within 10 days of an employee’s notification of pregnancy or a related condition.

Rhode Island Paid Sick Leave Official

Effective July 1, 2018, the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act allows workers to take up to three earned sick days (24 hours) in 2018, four days (32 hours) in 2019, and five days (40 hours) in 2020.

Illinois Moves Up Forms W-2 Filing Deadline

Illinois employers must file state copies of Forms W-2 by January 31, 2018. This new filing date conforms with the January 31 federal deadline.

California Overtime, Paid Leave, and Disaster Relief

Overtime

Effective January 1, 2018, California licensed physicians and surgeons are exempt from state overtime requirements if they earn at least $79.39 an hour. California computer software employees are exempt if they earn at least $43.58 an hour.

 

Paid Leave

Effective January 1, 2018, employers with 20 to 49 employees must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster-care placement. This does not apply to employers covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act.

Disaster Relief

Business affected by the wildfires in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma, and Yuba counties have until January 31, 2018, to file certain tax returns and make certain tax payments.

Utah Changes Income Tax Return Process

Employers in Utah are required to file income tax withholding returns electronically effective January 1, 2018. Utah employers will need to use form TC-941E when filing.

Washington Paid Sick Leave Finalized

New paid sick leave rules were finalized for Washington’s paid sick leave law that will take effect January 1, 2018. The rules create definitions and descriptions for paid sick leave, including rate of pay, accrual, usage, paid time-off programs, and more.

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