The government agencies responsible for Form 5500 released advance informational copies of the 2017 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions. Employee benefit plans subject to ERISA complete and file Form 5500 each year to satisfy required reporting and disclosure obligations. The U.S. Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation use Form 5500 to assure that employee benefit plans are operated and managed in accordance with required standards and that participant and beneficiary rights are protected.
As a follow up to our article about the imminent assessment of employer shared responsibility penalties (read our prior article by clicking here), the IRS released forms for employers to use to respond to penalty assessments.
Q.- An employee’s dentist offers a dental insurance discount plan for $100 per year. Can the $100 for the plan be reimbursed from the Health FSA?
An employee who believes he or she has been discriminated against at work based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information must file a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before filing a job discrimination lawsuit against an employer. A charge of discrimination is a signed statement alleging that an employer engaged in employment discrimination and a request for the EEOC to take action.
Q.- Can an employee in our health FSA get reimbursed for a medical expense incurred by his grandson?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the Transitional Reinsurance Program to help keep premiums for coverage purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace to a stable amount. Under the Program, insurers and sponsors of self-funded health plans are required to pay a fee based on number of participants in medical coverage. The fee is intended to be used to fund high claim costs for Marketplace enrollees.
Q.- Our open enrollment is starting next week and we allow our employees to change their medical plan election. Do we have to let our COBRA participants change their elections?
Last week, the House Committee on Ways and Means released a tax reform bill, entitled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill focuses on changes to corporate and individual tax provisions, but it also includes some items applicable to HR and employee benefits.
The IRS will begin enforcing the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act later this year. The employer shared responsibility provisions require applicable large employers to offer affordable health coverage providing minimum value to their full-time employees or make a payment to the IRS if one of their full-time employees receives a tax credit for purchasing individual coverage through the health insurance Marketplace.
Q.- Our Health FSA has the $500 carryover feature. We have an employee who contributed $2,000 to his health FSA this year because he thought his son was getting braces in November. The son will not be getting braces until next year. Can we let him carryover the full $2,000 instead of just $500?A.- No. One of the requirements the IRS places on a health flexible spending account plan is that funds not used during the plan year are forfeited. The IRS has approved a limited exception for a $500 carryover. Your plan will risk disqualification if you allow the employee to carry over more than $500 into the next plan year.
In Notice 2017-54, the IRS provides the per-diem rates for taxpayers to use for substantiating the amount of business expenses incurred while traveling away from home starting October 1, 2017. The Notice, which can be accessed by clicking here, sets forth the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses amount; the rate for the incidental expenses only deduction; and the rates and list of high-cost localities for taxpayers that use the high-low substantiation method.
Employers with calendar year health plans that use the look-back measurement method for determining employees’ full-time status will likely be able to make those determinations soon. Analyzing look back results is important to be able to make proper offers of coverage to full-time employees