Benefits Notes |

Employee benefits are an important part of every employees' total compensation package. The continuously evolving landscape in the areas of health care reform, retirement plan design, and executive compensation makes it difficult for employee benefits professionals to keep up with relevant developments. The employee benefits attorneys at Stinson Leonard Street provide human resources professionals, plan fiduciaries, actuaries, accountants, and others in the industry with practical and cost-effective assistance as they navigate through the complex laws, regulations and guidance that govern employee benefits plans. This blog highlights key developments in the employee benefits field and items of interest to our clients. Our Bloggers →

Latest Payroll Posts

If the Tax Withholding is Wrong, Don’t Rely on the Employer to Fix it – Part 2

By Angela Bohmann | August 7, 2013

Deferred Compensation and 409A, Executive Compensation, Payroll Over a year ago I blogged about the situation of former employees of Verizon who had never worked or resided in the United States but who had U.S. income taxes withheld from payments under benefit plans in which they participated while they worked for Verizon. The former employees had brought a claim for breach of...

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IRS Says: Be Careful If You Outsource Payment

By Angela Bohmann | August 5, 2013

Payroll The IRS recently issued a fact sheet containing tips for employers who outsource payroll duties. In the fact sheet, the IRS reminded employers that they remain responsible for paying withholding taxes even if the employer has paid the payroll provider, but the payroll provider has failed to pay the money to the...

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal Defense of Marriage Act – Open Questions for Benefit Plan Sponsors

By Jeffrey Cairns | July 16, 2013

Cafeteria Plans, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Payroll, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans On June 26, 2013, in a 5-4 vote the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1993 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional as a violation of Fifth Amendment guarantees of equal protection and equal liberty. The case, United States v. Windsor No.12-307(US June 26, 2013) ...

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The White House Blog: Employer Mandate Under the Affordable Care Act Delayed for One Year

By Jeffrey Cairns | July 3, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans On July 2 the White House announced that it is delaying the enforcement of the employer mandate that it provide health care coverage to employees or pay a penalty (the “play or pay” provisions) until 2015. http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/02/we-re-listening-businesses-about-health-care-law. According to...

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New Minnesota Law Expands the Use of Sick Leave

By Angela Bohmann | June 21, 2013

Compensation Questions, Payroll My colleagues on the employment side of our practice have written an Alert summarizing labor and employment laws enacted in the 2013 Minnesota legislative session. The first new law discussed in the Alert is an amendment to Minnesota statutes expanding the allowable uses of employee sick leave to cover illnesses and...

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Nonresident Employee Avoids New York Taxes on Deferred Compensation Payment

By Angela Bohmann | May 13, 2013

Deferred Compensation and 409A, Executive Compensation, Payroll A taxpayer we will call John worked for a savings bank in New York that was acquired by Washington Mutual Bank. John participated in the New York bank’s supplemental executive retirement plan (SERP) and its deferred compensation plan, both of which were nonqualified deferred compensation plans. When Washington...

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Section 409A Tax Assessed on Discounted Stock Options – Taxpayer Sues for Refund in Federal Court of Claims

By Jeffrey Cairns | March 7, 2013

Deferred Compensation and 409A, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Executive Compensation, Payroll Code Section 409A which was effective in January 1, 2005, provides strict rules that must be applied to most deferred compensation arrangements accruing benefits after the effective date. Failure to comply with the Code and the applicable Treasury Regulations can result in a 20% surtax plus interest on the amounts...

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Independent Contractor or Employee – it can depend upon who has the burden of proof

By Angela Bohmann | January 24, 2013

Compensation Questions, Payroll Those of us who work in the benefits area understand that the distinction between employee and independent contractor is an important one, but one in which the determination is not always clear. In many cases, the IRS takes the position that a particular worker is an employee, rather than an independent contractor,...

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Roth Conversions for Everyone

By Jeffrey Cairns | January 8, 2013

Payroll, Retirement Plans The recent “fiscal cliff” legislation, the American Taxpayer Relief Act 2012 includes a revenue raising idea for the government – more Roth conversions. The new provision would allow private company defined contribution plans (i.e., 401(k) and profit sharing plans); Section 403(b) plans for tax exempts and...

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Remember to report the value of health coverage on employees’ 2012 Form W-2s

By Benefits Notes Team | January 2, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employers who issue 250 or more W-2s in a year to report the aggregate cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan in Box 12 of each employee’s Form W-2, using code DD. In general, the amount reported should include both the employer and...

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