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Stay up to date with Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources, legal and HR compliance updates, and insight on how to stay informed, prepared and healthy.


March 2021 Compliance Recap

The employee benefits guidance issued in February 2021 was largely focused on providing relief to individuals and businesses impacted by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Significantly, on March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the Act) was enacted into law which, in part, mandates that eligible individuals receive a six-month 100% COBRA subsidy. … Continued

IRS Notice 2021-21 | Relief from Certain Taxpayer Deadlines due to COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 national emergency, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2021-21 (Notice) that extends the deadline for filing income returns on Form 1040, Form 1040-SR, Form 1040-NR, Form 1040-PR, Form 1040-SS, or Form 1040 (SP). The Notice extends the general April 15, 2021, deadline to May 17, 2021. The Notice provides that … Continued

PPE as Section 213(d) Qualified Medical Expenses

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Announcement 2021-7 providing that amounts paid for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19, are qualified medical expenses under Internal Revenue Code Section 213(d). Therefore, these expenses are eligible for reimbursement from account-based plans, … Continued

January 2021 Compliance Recap

January was a busy month in the employee benefits world. President Biden issued a memorandum putting a regulatory freeze on new rules. President Biden also issued an executive order on strengthening Medicaid and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Department of Labor (DOL) released inflation-adjusted federal civil penalty amounts. The Centers for … Continued

IRS Updates FAQs on Employer Tax Credits for FFCRA Leave

On Jan. 29, 2021, the IRS updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) on tax credits available to employers for providing paid employee leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). While the leave requirements of the FFCRA expired on Dec. 31, 2020, the law’s tax credits were extended for employers that voluntarily provide FFCRA … Continued

Update on Tri-Agency Final Rules on Health Reimbursement Arrangements

The IRS released final rules clarifying how the employer shared responsibility provisions and Section 105(h) nondiscrimination rules apply to health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and other account-based group health plans that are integrated with individual health insurance coverage or Medicare. The final rules do not contain any substantive revisions to the proposed rules. On September 30, … Continued

IRS Notice 2020-76

IRS Extends ACA Reporting Deadline for Furnishing Statements for 2020 from February 1 to March 2, 2021. As the deadline for reporting of group health coverage offered in 2020 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) approaches, the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) has issued IRS Notice 2020-76 (Notice) regarding deadline extensions and requirements … Continued

August 2020 Compliance Recap

August was a relatively busy month in the employee benefits world. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released an updated report on health savings accounts (HSAs) that summarizes the principal rules governing HSAs and changes made to HSAs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Health and Human Services  Office for Civil Rights … Continued

IRS Releases the Indexed 2021 Affordability Percentage

The IRS released  Revenue Procedure 2020-36, which increases the affordability threshold for ACA employer mandate pay or play purposes to 9.83% for plan years beginning in 2021 from 9.78% for 2020. An employer uses the affordability percentage to determine whether it has offered affordable coverage under the ACA’s employer shared responsibility provisions to avoid Penalty … Continued

Internal Revenue Service Notice 2020-35

On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States issued an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in response to the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic (Emergency Declaration). The Emergency Declaration instructed the Secretary of the Treasury “to provide relief from tax deadlines to Americans who … Continued