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Fringe benefits - transit, discounts, other


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[Guidance Overview] Transportation and Parking Benefits Provided by Tax-Exempt Employers Might Be Taxable
"There is significant confusion and lack of clarity regarding how these provisions will be interpreted or applied. For example, will an organization have UBTI if it permits employee parking in spaces owned by the employer, or only if the parking is in spaces for which the employer must pay a third party? Will an organization have UBTI if it sponsors a pre-tax employee parking or transit program, or only if it provides those benefits at no cost to the employees?" (Quarles & Brady LLP)
Introduce Voluntary Benefits Outside of Open Enrollment
"[Introducing] new voluntary benefits off-cycle ... allows employees to focus on the new products without being distracted by changes to the medical plan or the increased premiums for core products.... [O]nce an employee makes their open enrollment elections and have experienced a few months' worth of payroll-deducted premiums, they're better equipped to decide their tolerance for additional premium deductions towards shiny new voluntary benefits." (Frenkel Benefits)
Still Standing After the New Tax Law: Employee Commuter Tax Benefits
"Section 132 of the Internal Revenue Code allows employers to offer employees the opportunity pay for certain transportation expenses on a pre-tax basis.... Unlike Section 125 Plans, a Commuter Benefit Plan does not include a 'use it or lose it penalty'. A Plan document is not required, but a written description is recommended. Form 5500 is not required." (The Retirement Plan Blog)
No (Tax-) Free Lunch: Entertainment, Awards, and Meals Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
"The Act did not change the exceptions to the general disallowance of deductions for expenses for entertainment, amusement, or recreation found under Code Section 274(e). These include, for example, food and beverages for employees on the employer's business premises, expenses that are imputed as income to employees, and employee and director business meetings.... [A]ny entertainment expenses that are still permitted due to pre-existing exceptions not changed by the Act -- such as employee business meals -- are now 100% deductible." (Ice Miller LLP)
Why Employers Should Offer Health Insurance and Other Employee Benefits
"Nearly a quarter (23%) of full-time employees do not receive any benefits from their employers. Over half (55%) of employees say that health insurance is the most important benefit in terms of their job satisfaction. Childcare benefits are rare, with only 21% of full-time workers receiving paid parental leave. Just 8% receive some kind of childcare stipend." (Clutch)
Estee Lauder Launches Student Loan Contribution Benefit
"The New York City-based conglomerate ... partnered with student loan payback platform Tuition.io to administer a monthly $100 contribution to an employee's student loans. The contribution caps at $10,000." (Employee Benefit News)
Nearly One in Five Workers Had Access to Financial Planning Benefits in 2017
"In 2017, about one-fifth of private industry workers were offered free or subsidized financial planning services from their employers. These services help employees make decisions about savings, borrowing, investing, home buying, education expenses, or retirement. While union and nonunion workers had similar rates of access to financial planning services, access varied based on size of establishment, wage level, and industry." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS])
Self-Funding of Ancillary Benefits Helps Control Plan Cost
"The most commonly self-funded ancillary benefits are dental and short-term disability, followed by vision. These employee benefits are relatively low risk.... Short-term disability is a popular benefit for employees needing maternity leave. However, if you plan accordingly, these claims won't drastically affect the benefit spend." (Corporate Synergies)
Tax Reform Changes for Health, Paid Leave and Fringe Benefits
"Many of the changes made by the tax reform law to health, paid leave and fringe benefits will need implementing guidance to fill in the details before employers can make informed decisions about their programs. Employers will generally need to assess the worth of these benefits to employees as well as the cost of the lost deductions." (Willis Towers Watson)
[Guidance Overview] Transportation Fringe Benefits after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
"If the tax-exempt organization wants to avoid the [application of the Unrelated Business Income Tax rules to certain fringe benefits provided to employees], either [1] it can provide the benefits as taxable items to the employees (and include the cost of the benefits in the employees' Forms W-2) or [2] it can stop providing these benefits. If the organization chooses to treat these benefits as taxable wages, it will be subject to higher FICA and Medicare payroll taxes and the employees will have increased personal income taxes." (Schneider Downs)
[Guidance Overview] How Tax Reform Will Change the Treatment of Fringe Benefits
"Several employer deductions will be reduced or eliminated, including the cost of business-related entertainment expenses and qualified transportation fringe benefits, but employers may be able to claim a credit for a percentage of wages paid to qualifying employees on family and medical leave.... [E]mployees can no longer exclude moving expense reimbursements they receive from employers or deduct moving expenses they pay themselves." (Morgan Lewis)
[Guidance Overview] Fringe Benefits: What Tax Reform Means to the Employer
"If a tax-exempt entity provides an opportunity for employees to pay transportation expenses on a pre-tax basis, the entity may inadvertently trigger [unrelated business taxable income (UBTI)], which could be a significant issue. Further complicating this issue are the local laws in New York City, Washington, DC, and the San Francisco Bay area that require certain employers to maintain qualified transportation fringe benefit programs under Code Section 132(f). Therefore, it will not be easy for certain employers to simply discontinue transportation fringe programs in order to avoid UBTI." (McDermott Will & Emery)
Where Is an Employee's 'Home' for Travel Expense Reimbursement Purposes?
"An employee's 'tax home' is generally determined by where the employee works, not by where the employee lives. An employee's tax home is not limited to a particular building or property but rather includes the entire city or area in which the tax home is located.... Assignments of indefinite duration can change a taxpayer's tax home, but temporary assignments will not if the assignment is realistically expected to last, and in fact lasts, for one year or less[.]" (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)
Tax Law Sends Mixed Messages on Transportation Benefits
"Beginning in 2018, the law repeals employer deductions for parking and transit benefits ... Employees are still able to exclude employer-provided parking and transit benefits from their income and use salary reductions to purchase such benefits on a pre-tax basis. The law makes the opposite changes to bicycle commuting reimbursements." (Bloomberg BNA)
[Guidance Overview] Tax Law Revises Treatment of Employee Benefits
"[The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act] did eliminate the tax-advantaged status of a number of fringe benefits.... The effective date of these changes leaves little time to revise payroll systems to address these matters. [A table provides] a high-level overview of the benefits that may be affected." (RSM US)
Employee Benefits Resolutions for 2018
"January is a great time ... to tidy up your employee benefit plan documents! ... Re-evaluation of your benefits advisers (third party administrators, investment advisers, auditors and even us attorneys) is not only good common sense, it's required under ERISA.... [C]arefully review cybersecurity protections offered (or perhaps not offered) by service providers.... Review electronic distribution of benefit plans.... [W]hy not try out some new benefits?" (Mintz Levin)
[Guidance Overview] The Impact of Tax Reform on Qualified Plans and Fringe Benefits
"[1] Are there changes to the plan loan rollover rules? ... [2] What favorable tax treatment is available for plan distributions to individuals living in 2016 disaster areas? ... [3] Are there any changes to the plan hardship distribution rules? ... [4] What happened to Rothification? ... [5] Fringe benefits are generally excluded from an employee's income. Are there any changes to these rules? ... [6] Does the Act change the tax treatment or deduction of meals provided to employees for the convenience of the employer?" (Drinker Biddle)
New Tax Law Affects Employer-Sponsored Commuter Benefits (PDF)
"Starting in 2018, the federal business tax deduction for qualified mass transit and parking benefits is eliminated. Work-related transit and parking expense benefits continue to be non-taxable to employees. Tax-free reimbursement for bicycle commuting expenses is suspended. The changes are unlikely to affect or significantly complicate employer compliance with state or local commuter ordinances." (EPIC)
The Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Employee and Fringe Benefits
"How will the Act's repeal of the [ACA] individual mandate affect employers? ... What changes does the Act make to Qualified Transportation Benefits and Qualified Bicycle Commuting Reimbursements? ... Does the Act do anything to help victims of natural disasters? ... How does the Act change the rules governing plan loans from a qualified retirement plan?" (Mintz Levin)
[Guidance Overview] Tax Law Changes to Employee Fringe Benefits
"The changes are somewhat arbitrary and sporadic. Basically, employer payment or reimbursement of an employee's business expenses (so-called working condition fringe benefits) will continue to be tax-free to the employee and tax deductible by the employer. But certain fringe benefits that still can be provided tax-free to an employee will no longer be tax deductible by the employer. On the other hand, if an employer chooses to provide the affected fringe benefits on a taxable basis to the employee (i.e., as W-2 wages), the employer will be able claim a tax deduction for the taxable benefits." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
[Guidance Overview] New Tax Rules for Transportation Fringe Benefits
"Many employers will elect to maintain their current policies ... But other employers may decide that retaining the tax deduction (or avoiding the UBIT) is sufficient justification to convert their transportation assistance programs into after-tax arrangements.... [T]he tax rules applicable to employees have not changed (other than for biking-related assistance), so maintaining the status quo would also carry the advantage of allowing time for the dust to settle before any employee communications are needed." (Spencer Fane)
IRS Releases Standard Mileage Rates, FAVR Allowances for 2017
"For all miles of business use, the standard mileage rate for transportation or travel expenses is 54.5 cents per mile (up slightly from 53.5 cents in 2017).... For purposes of computing the allowance under a FAVR plan, the maximum allowable cost in 2018 is $27,300 for cars (down from $27,900 in 2017) and $31,000 for trucks and vans (down from $31,300)." (HR Daily Advisor)
[Guidance Overview] Tax Reform Provisions Affecting Employer-Provided Compensation and Benefits (PDF)
"[1] Repeal of performance-based compensation exception to $1,000,000 deduction limit ... [2] Excessive compensation of non-profit covered employees subject to a 21% tax penalty ... [3] Limits and phase-out on deduction for employer-operated eating facilities ... [4] Elimination of employer deduction for certain transportation fringe benefits ... [5] Suspension of income exclusion for qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement fringe benefit ... [6] Suspension of income exclusion and employer deduction for qualified moving expense reimbursement ... [7] Extension of rollover period for plan loan offsets ... [8] Employer credit for paid family and medical leave." (Trucker Huss)
[Guidance Overview] President Trump Signs Into Law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (PDF)
16 pages. "The changes reach far and wide and will impact every individual, nearly all domestic businesses regardless of the type of entity they operate through, many tax-exempt organizations and companies with international operations. Most of the changes take effect on Jan. 1, 2018 but a few provisions have earlier effective dates." (Polsinelli PC)
New Section 162(q) Raises Questions About Deductibility of Employment Settlements
"Properly drafted, the release and confidentiality language in every settlement agreement would apply to claims of sexual harassment or sexual abuse whether or not the employee actually made such claims. The potential breadth of the new rule raises some concerns because application of the new rule seemingly does not require any obvious connection between the settlement and any particular underlying claim." (Eversheds Sutherland)
After Harassment, Consider Counseling Services Without Deductibles
"[One attorney] recommends that companies provide access to an independent third-party advocate who would be available to employees -- at no cost to them -- under a stand-alone employee benefits plan subject to [ERISA]. The plan would also provide funds for certain health and welfare benefits, such as counseling, therapy and related services." (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
New Tax Law: Additional Details
"Taxability of moving expense reimbursements.... Qualified transportation fringe benefit changes.... Bicycle commuter benefits changes." (Smith & Downey, P.A.)
Paying for Employee Parking? No Longer Deductible under Tax Legislation
"For-profit employers that deduct expenses may not deduct costs for employee parking.... [E]mployers that do not deduct expenses (i.e., tax-exempt and governmental entities) will be subject to unrelated business taxable income on the expenses they incur for employee parking.... [A]ny employer that pays for or offsets the cost of employee parking is faced with the tough decision of incurring taxable expenses or passing the cost on to employees." (Carlton Fields)
Notable Employee Benefit Provisions in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act
"[1] Reduced medical expense deduction threshold (effective 2017) ... [2] Tax-free bicycle reimbursement elimination (effective 2018) ... [3] Tax-free moving expense reimbursement elimination (effective 2018) ... [4] Individual mandate tax penalty elimination (effective 2019) ... [5] Tax credit for paid family leave (effective 2018)." (ABD Insurance & Financial Services)
Paid Leave, Other Job-Related Measures Stay in Tax Bill
"Incentives for companies to offer their workers paid leave, in addition to prohibiting deductions related to confidential settlements related to sexual misconduct, are part of the final version of a Republican tax reform bill ... That includes offering businesses a credit for offering up to 12 weeks of paid family leave. The measure, plucked from a stand-alone bill (S. 344) by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), also includes incentives for offering medical leave." (Bloomberg BNA)
Final Tax Bill Impacts Transportation Fringe Benefit Plans
"Section 13304(c) of the Final Tax Bill disallows employer deductions relating to qualified transportation fringe benefits effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017; and Section 11047 of the Final Tax Bill provides that qualified bicycle commuting expenses will no longer be tax exempt to employees effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017." (Kilpatrick Townsend)
House-Senate Conference Report on Tax Reform Legislation Released
"Under the bill, employers can no longer deduct expenses [for] qualified transportation fringe benefits effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Qualified bicycle commuting expenses will no longer be tax exempt to employees effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Other qualified transportation fringe benefits, such as parking and transit passes, will continue to be tax exempt to employees, so that plans that offer salary reductions for such benefits will continue to be allowed." (Employers Council on Flexible Compensation [ECFC])
[Guidance Overview] Puerto Rico Treasury Department Issues Q&As on Qualified Payments Made for Hurricane Maria Disaster Assistance
"PR Treasury clarifies that Qualified Payments are excluded from the definition of 'gross income.' ... Qualified Payments made by an employer to its employees to cover necessary and reasonable expenses such as meal expenses, medicines and medical expenses or for the purchase of a power generator are considered Qualified Payments subject to the $1,000 monthly limitation.... Employers must keep in mind that they have until December 31, 2017 to make Qualified Payments to employees or independent contractors." (Littler)
Text of IRS Notice 2018-03: 2018 Standard Mileage Rates (PDF)
"The standard mileage rate for transportation or travel expenses is 54.5 cents per mile for all miles of business use (business standard mileage rate).... The standard mileage rate is 14 cents per mile for use of an automobile in rendering gratuitous services to a charitable organization under Section 170." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Shipping Breast Milk Emerges as an Employee Benefit
"Companies like Milk Stork provide the service to corporate clients, and some companies are developing their own self-administered programs that do the same thing in house.... Milk Stork uses pharmaceutical-grade shipping coolers that provide a minimum of 72 hours of refrigeration. These are sent to the mother's hotel room, along with breast milk storage bags, seals and instructions.... The cost is $139 per travel day on average." (Employee Benefit News)
What Happens If Tax Reform Scuttles Employers' Deduction for Commuter Benefits?
"One-third of recently polled employers (32.9 percent) offer incentives to employees who use mass transportation, carpool, bike or walk to work ... Among employers that offer mass transportation incentives, 56.8 percent have a pretax benefit program in place, enabling their workers to exclude mass transit or carpool costs from their gross taxable income." (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
Tax Reform: Comparison of Current Law with House-Passed and Senate-Passed Versions (PDF)
9-page chart compares current employee benefits and executive comp law with provisions included in House and Senate bills. (Groom Law Group)
Senate Approves Tax Reform with Differences from House Version (PDF)
"On December 2, the Senate narrowly approved its own version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Earlier, the House approved a different version of this legislation ... The House has adopted a resolution to send the bills to a conference committee of members of both the House and Senate to resolve differences between the two versions." [7-page chart has side-by-side comparison of current law with the provisions of each bill, with comments.] (Mazursky Constantine LLC)
Senate-Passed Tax Reform Bill Would Change Employee Benefits
"The Act will significantly reform the Internal Revenue Code, including in the areas related to an employer's compensation and benefit plans. Some of these changes are minor, such as the removal of qualified moving expense reimbursements as a tax-free benefit. However, other changes would be extremely significant, such as the changes to the deductibility of compensation in excess of $1 million to covered employees under Code Section 162(m) and the adoption of public company-like rules for the top employees of tax-exempt organizations." [Includes side-by-side comparison of House and Senate provisions affecting employee benefits and executive compensation.] (Duane Morris LLP)
Senate Passage of Tax Bill Signals Benefit Changes -- But Which Ones?
"Each measure handles the health care individual mandate, education benefits and other deductions differently.... [A] comparison chart of the workplace provisions in both the House and Senate bills [is provided], and some of the key differences are noted [in this article]." (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
Tax Reform Bills as Passed: Issues of Concern (PDF)
7-page summary comparing fringe benefit provisions of current law with proposed and passed versions of House and Senate bills. (Employers Council on Flexible Compensation [ECFC])
When Is Your Flexible Benefit Plan Not a 'Bona Fide' Plan for FLSA Purposes? (PDF)
"Eligible Opt-Out payments ... are treated as part of the regular rate of pay under the FLSA. What does this mean for other defined contribution health plan designs, many of which pass funds through a cafeteria or flexible benefits plan such as Health Savings Account contributions? Similarly, what does this mean for other flexible benefit plans providing employees with credits the employee can elect to use to purchase benefits or cash out?" (Winstead PC and Baker Hostetler, via Bloomberg Law Pension & Benefits Daily)
Tax Treatment of Employee Hardship and Disaster Relief
"In structuring this assistance, most parties prefer that the payments be tax-deductible to the employer but not constitute taxable income to the employee.... To provide this assistance tax-free to employees, the employer must navigate the detailed maze of provisions governing assistance programs.... it is crucial that the program be documented, including identifying who is eligible, how a particular employee satisfies the eligibility criteria, whether they have insurance to cover any of the types of losses that the employer is planning to fund, and who is on the selection committee." (Pepper Hamilton LLP)
IRS Releases 2017 Form 8839 for Excluding Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits
"The maximum adoption credit and exclusion amounts have been adjusted to reflect their 2017 values ... The adoption credit carryforward worksheet in the instructions for line 16, which identifies unused credits that taxpayers may carry forward to 2018, has been modified to reflect that carryforwards to 2018 cannot include 2012 credit carryforwards." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)
Employees Favor Student Loan Repayment Benefits
"23% of respondents said they would forgo health care benefits for student loan repayment help; 38% said they would switch out dental care benefits; 46% would give up paid time off (PTO); 33% would sacrifice retirement benefits; and 43% would rather have a student loan repayment benefit than life insurance.... [A] little more than half (53%) of workers revealed they would consider a salary cut, as long as they received a student loan repayment benefit in replacement. If a company were to offer a student loan benefit, 84% of respondents said they would strongly consider that job over others that did not." (planadviser)
What the Proposed Tax Bills Mean for Employer-Provided Fringe Benefits
"Both the House and Senate versions of tax reform propose significant changes that may reduce or eliminate the tax benefits of many popular employer-provided fringe benefits, such as dependent care assistance programs, on-premises gyms and bicycle commuting expense reimbursements. In addition, many common deductions for work-related activities -- including certain meal and entertainment expenses -- may see sweeping changes." (McDermott Will & Emery)
Tax Reform: Side-by-Side Comparison of Employee Benefit Provisions of House and Senate Bills
"The House initially took a heavy hand to many favorable executive compensation provisions and made some important changes in the retirement and welfare areas, but the House Ways and Means Committee relented a bit. The Senate Finance Committee proposal, as modified ... followed suit in its approach to executive compensation." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)
Tax Reform Legislation Moves Through the House and Senate (PDF)
"[Both bills] contain several provisions that would change the tax rules with respect to retirement plans, executive and nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC') arrangements, employee fringe benefits, and health and welfare plans. [Includes a link to a] side-by-side summary comparing the retirement, executive compensation, fringe benefit, and health and welfare provisions in the House and Senate bills[.]" (Groom Law Group)
Senate Finance Committee Releases Text of Committee-Approved Tax Bill
Documents pertaining to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as passed by the Senate Finance Committee: the text of the bill, a section-by-section description of the bill, and the Joint Committee on Taxation's score of the bill. (Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate)
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Passes House
"Dependent Care FSA eliminated as of 2023: The original version of the bill would have eliminated the Dependent Care FSA as of 2018. So this five-year delay is a small victory. Current Senate Bill: Does not eliminate the Dependent Care FSA.... The bill eliminates the ability for employers to provide tax-free adoption assistance to employees (up to $13,570 in 2017). Current Senate Bill: Does not eliminate Adoption Assistance Programs.... The bill eliminates only the Section 127 qualified program that does not require the employee's educational expenses be work-related. Employers would still be able to offer the separate Section 132 working condition fringe tax-free educational benefit for work-related educational expenses. Current Senate Bill: Does not eliminate Qualified Education Assistance Program." (ABD Insurance & Financial Services)
Description of the Chairman's Modification to the Chairman's Mark of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
103 pages. "Scheduled for markup before the Senate Committee on Finance on November 15, 2017 ... The Chairman's modification strikes the following proposals: [1] Item III.H.1, Nonqualified deferred compensation, [2] Item III.K, Determination of worker classification and information reporting requirements, [3] Item III.M.2, Application of 10-percent early withdrawal tax to governmental section 457(b) plans, and [4] Item III.M.3, Elimination of catch-up contributions for high-wage employees." [Also available: Estimated revenue effects of these modifications.] (Joint Committee on Taxation [JCT], U.S. Congress)
Tax Bills Put Fringe Benefits on the Firing Line
"A broad range of commonly offered benefits would no longer be excludable from an employee's taxable wages ... In turn, certain popular employer deductions for employee benefits would be eliminated (even though the benefits themselves may remain excludable)." (Morgan Lewis)
A Look at the House Ways and Means Committee Revisions and the Senate Mark of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (PDF)
"The Senate Mark also introduced a five percent Federal income tax withholding obligation on compensation paid to independent contractors and included other differences to the final House bill impacting [1] compensation-related deductions, [2] employer-provided fringe benefits, [and] [3] retirement plans ... [T]he House bill and Senate Mark are aligned on changes to section 162(m), including the proposed elimination of the performance-based compensation exception to the $1 million limit on the deductibility of covered employee compensation" (Baker McKenzie)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2017-70: Treatment of Amounts Paid to Section 170(c) Organizations Under Employer Leave-Based Donation Programs to Aid Victims of the California Wildfires (PDF)
"The [IRS] will not assert that cash payments an employer makes to Section 170(c) organizations in exchange for vacation, sick, or personal leave that its employees elect to forgo constitute gross income or wages of the employees if the payments are: [1] made to the Section 170(c) organizations for the relief of victims of the 2017 California Wildfires ; and [2] paid to the Section 170(c) organizations before January 1, 2019. Similarly, the Service will not assert that the opportunity to make such an election results in constructive receipt of gross income or wages for employees." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
What Do Young Workers Think About Student Loan Repayment Benefits?
"Of those who received a student loan benefit, a stark majority (93 percent) make additional payments on their student loans.... 23 percent said they would give up basic healthcare benefits for a student loan repayment benefit.... 33 percent said they would give up access to retirement benefits now if it meant receiving a student loan repayment benefit.... 38 percent would give up dental care benefits.... Surprisingly, a large group (46 percent) would give up paid time off." (Millennial Personal Finance)
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Good News for 401(k) Plans, Bad News for Nonqualified Deferred Compensation
"While there were no adjustments to contributions to 401(k) plans under the Act, that does not mean that the final version of the bill will not include some form of Rothification.... The Act liberalizes certain rules relating to hardship distributions.... This proposal would eliminate many standard forms of deferred compensation, such as 401(k) mirror plans. It also removes from the Code, with respect to services performed after December 31, 2017, Sections 409A, 457(b) (for tax exempt employers), 457(f), and 457A ... The exclusions for adoption assistance, dependent care, qualified moving expenses, and employee achievement awards are repealed." (The Wagner Law Group)
House of Representatives Releases Tax Reform Proposal: The Tax Cuts and Job Act
"The tax reform proposal does not provide any relief from ... the tax on high cost health plans (the 'Cadillac tax'), the cap on employee contributions to health FSAs, the requirement that drugs be prescribed to be reimbursed from an FSA, HRA or HSA and the increase in the penalty tax for disqualified distributions from an HSA.... Employers will no longer be able to deduct expenses for qualified transportation fringe benefits paid or incurred after December 31, 2017 ... However, the proposal does not change the non-taxable nature of these qualified transportation fringe benefits. This means that employers will not be able to deduct any pre-tax transit and parking amounts, but they will remain tax advantaged for individual employees." (Employers Council on Flexible Compensation [ECFC])
November Compliance Guide: Voluntary Benefits
"[1] Pack the compliance essentials if your voluntary benefits are subject to ERISA.... [2] Take steps to exclude identity theft protection from employee gross income.... [3] Check the fees on student loan reimbursements.... [4] Leave employees' financial stress at the station.... [5] Take off for time off." (Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.)
[Guidance Overview] Puerto Rico Agencies Issue Employee-Related Guidance, Tax Relief in Wake of Hurricanes
"[L]ocal government agencies have issued the following measures and guidance related to employers concerning their employees. [1] Income tax exemption for assistance to employees... [2] [G]uidance on payment of salary for days not worked in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Mar´┐Ża. PR-DOL Opinion 2017-001 cites the Fair Labor Standards Act and its interpretative regulations in summarizing payment obligations for exempt and non-exempt employees due to natural disasters and recovery. (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
How to Choose the Right Employer Sponsored Pet Insurance Plan
"Key factors to consider when selecting a pet insurance plan include: What types of pets are covered? ... Is preventive care covered? ... How are rates determined? ... ow are veterinary claim reimbursements determined? ... Are pre-existing conditions covered?" (Mercer)

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