October 1, 2013 ACA Notice Requirements for Employers
Confusion reigns regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") and obligations to provide notices to employees of information regarding the new Health Insurance Market Place ("Exchanges") by no later than October 1, 2013.
WIB has received numerous calls and inquiries concerning the October 1, deadline over the past several days. Understandably, some of the requirements of the PPACA get lost in the myriad of news reports and debates about extending time limits and attacks on program funding.
WIB is therefore publishing an article by Andy DeClercq with links to model notices. Andy is an attorney with Boardman & Clark, LLP - the law firm retained by WIB to assist WIB members.
In the meantime, a couple of key issues include:
Number of Employees: The October 1, 2013 Notice Deadline is not limited to employers with more than 50 employees. The Notice requirement applies to all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The FLSA covers all employers with at least one employee and at least $500,000 annual business revenue.
Employer Coverage: The October 1, 2013 Notice Deadline is applicable whether or not the employer offers any health insurance to its employees. The model notices used will be different for employers offering health plans from those who do not.
Full vs. Part-Time Employees: The Notice requirements are applicable to both full and part-time employees.
New Hires: Employees hired after October 1, 2013, must be provided applicable notices at the time of hire or within 14 days thereafter.
COBRA Notices: Required COBRA notices for employees have been modified to reflect information on the exchanges.
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Total State-Local Taxes Rise, but Fall as Share of Income
While Wisconsin’s state-local tax burden fell from 11.3% to 11.1% of personal income in 2014, the total tax burden rose from 30.4% to 31.3% of income due to increases in federal tax collections. This is the key finding of a new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, “Total Taxes in Wisconsin, 2014.”
In actual dollars, total Wisconsin state and local taxes rose 0.2% in 2014 to $27.6 billion. However, state taxes and fees alone declined 0.6% this year to $17.4 billion, due largely to lower collections of individual income and unemployment taxes. In the 2013-15 state budget and again in separate legislation early this year, lawmakers reduced individual income tax rates. To reflect these cuts, they also adjusted paycheck withholding tables, which helped reduce collections 5.8% to $7.1 billion in 2014. Unemployment insurance (UI) tax collections fell 1.7% in 2014 to $1.15 billion.
The state’s total tax burden relative to income rose in 2014 chiefly because federal collections from state taxpayers jumped 8.3% to an estimated $46.4 billion in 2014. The increase was due to a combination of economic expansion and federal tax increases. Federal taxes accounted for almost 65% of all 2014 taxes and fees paid in Wisconsin. As a share of income, they claimed 20.2%, compared to 19.1% in 2013.
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