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

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

By Lori | 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...


Assisting Victims of Hurricane Sandy

By Angela Bohmann | November 6, 2012

Payroll Although our main office is in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we have clients located in other parts of the country, and ourselves have an office in Washington, D.C. Some of our clients have employees who have been hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. Employers want to help their employees, and employees not affected by the...


Possible FICA Tax Savings on Severance Pay

By Angela Bohmann | September 17, 2012

Payroll A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision concluded that severance pay provided to employees as a result of layoff or discontinuance of a plant, operations or other similar condition is exempt from FICA taxes. According to the court of appeals, it does not matter whether the severance is paid in a lump sum or...


IRS Clarifies Medicare Premium Deductions for Sole Proprietors, Partners and S Corporation Shareholder-Employees

By Angela Bohmann | July 31, 2012

Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan, Payroll Sole proprietors, partners (including LLC members) and two percent shareholders in an S corporation are not treated as “employees” for purposes of certain benefits. Among those benefits is employer provided health insurance coverage. While employer subsidies for health coverage are generally excluded from the...


IRS Issues Q&As on Collection of Additional Medicare Tax in 2013

By Jeffrey Cairns | July 30, 2012

Health Care Reform, Payroll The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provided a number of new taxes to help finance the new health care law. One such tax is an additional Medicare tax on high earners that takes effect for tax years beginning after 2012. To assist taxpayers and employers in implementing the collection of the new...


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

By Angela Bohmann | June 25, 2012

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Payroll, Retirement Plans Verizon Communications, Inc. sponsored a number of plans for its foreign employees. These employees were citizens of foreign countries who never worked in the United States. Because these employees never worked or resided in the United States, their employment income and the benefits from their retirement plans were...


Top Hat Plan Benefits Can Be Garnished

By Angela Bohmann | June 4, 2012

Deferred Compensation and 409A, Executive Compensation, Payroll In a recent District Court decision, a court held that non-qualified deferred compensation benefits being paid  to a participant under a “top hat” plan could be garnished by the participant’s creditor. Employers who sponsor plans covered by ERISA know that creditors cannot garnish a participant’s benefits...


IRS Issues Guidance on W-2 Reporting of Health Care Coverage

By Angela Bohmann | May 30, 2012

Health Care Reform, Payroll The IRS issued recently FAQs relating to W-2 reporting of employer-provided health care coverage, a health care reform requirement that employers must first meet for the 2012 calendar year. We have previously discussed these requirements [Link to earlier health care reform posts]. These FAQs largely restate prior...


Beware Unexpected Tax Consequences from Telecommuting

By Angela Bohmann | March 21, 2012

Compensation Questions, Payroll, Uncategorized, Welfare Plans Mary worked for IT, Inc. at its headquarters in Maryland. Her husband moved to New Jersey for his work and Mary moved with him. Mary continued to work for IT, Inc., writing computer code from her home in New Jersey and uploading her work to her co-workers in Maryland via the Internet. IT, Inc. withheld New Jersey...


Unreasonably Low Compensation and FICA Taxes

By Angela Bohmann | February 29, 2012

Compensation Questions, Payroll In many cases where the IRS claims that compensation is not "reasonable," the focus is on whether the compensation is too high to be deductible by the employer. The arguments are often reversed in the S corporation context. Because there is only one level of tax in the S Corporation, some owners try to minimize the...