ACA – What to tell Employees

Employees are starting to receive their 1095-C forms.  Many have questions and they are  looking to you for answers.  Here are the most important questions and answers from an employee point of view.

Q.  What is this for?

  •  IRS Form 109-C provides information about your employer-provided health insurance, or offers of coverage if you chose not to accept it.

Q.  What should I do with it?

  •  You should keep it with the forms you give to your tax preparer.  If you prepare your own taxes you should refer to it as necessary to answer new questions this year about your health insurance coverage.

Q.  Do I have to wait for this form before I file my taxes?

  • Maybe.  It does not need to be submitted with your tax forms but your tax  preparer may want to review it to make sure the questions on your return are answered properly.  If you were covered by your employer all year you should be able to answer those questions without waiting for the form.  You do not need to include a copy of the form with your return.

Q. Why might I need to wait for the information?

  • If you received an advance premium tax credit or if you had a gap in coverage or more than three consecutive months you may need to refer to the 1095-C to prepare your return.

Q.  Why don’t I have it yet?  I got my W-2 already.

  • Since this is the first year the IRS extended the deadline for your employer to send out the 1095-C forms to March 31, 2016.

Q.  What if I didn’t get one?

  • Not every employer is required to send 1095-C forms to their employees.  If your employer has less than 50 full time employees you will not receive one.  You will need to rely on your own records to answer the coverage questions on your return.

 

 

Upgrading to Sage HRMS 2015

There are lots of excellent reasons to upgrade to Sage HRMS 2015.  The most talked about reason is the addition of My Workforce Analyzer to help companies deal with their obligations under the Affordable Care Act.  But there are some other features that are pretty notable.  I find the new structure to help create better custom reports to be the most exciting.  When upgrading to Sage HRMS 2015 there are a series of procedures that run to create unified payroll tables as a function of a view under the SageHRMS_Live database.  It merges information from your various payroll companies and inserts a PR_company field at the end of the view.  If you have more than one payroll company this means it is far easier to use Crystal Reports to write consolidated reports.  If you want to make use of this new functionality there are some things you must know.

  1. You will need to know the name of the SQL server (servername/instancename).
  2. You will need a valid SQL users account and password for that account.
  3. The name of the database being used as live in Sage HRMS.  This is normally SageHRMS_Live.

To create a new report you will launch Crystal Reports and choose Report Wizard. You will need to create a new connection type, so click on the ‘+’ next to ‘Create New Connection’. Then click on the ‘+’ next to ‘OLEDB(ADO)’.  Instead going to a listing  of the tables or files as you have been used to seeing in your HR reports you will click on the ‘+’ next to ‘DBO’ then ‘Views’.  Now you will be able to see a list of the tables in Sage Payroll so you can select the ones you want to use.  You are ready to write your report!

Payroll Fraud – Are you a victim or a perpetrator?

According to Forbes payroll fraud happens in 27 percent of all businesses.  There are basically three main kinds of payroll fraud and different ways of avoiding each of them.

  1. Employee Fraud:  Time card falsification is an obvious form of payroll fraud.  Certainly Time and Attendance software can help keep employees honest and give supervisors some oversight.  Real-time software is particularly helpful in keeping everyone honest.
  2. Payroll Administrator Fraud:  It is never a good idea to have one person completely completely responsible for payroll without assistance or oversight.  Aside from the danger of losing that person and their expertise, there is also the danger of pretend employees being entered into the system (who coincidentally share a bank account with the payroll person), or duplicate checks being created.  A system of checks and balances, such as audit trails and periodic payroll reconciliations from another source or department can help protect company assets.
  3. Employer Fraud:  The third type of payroll fraud is actually committed by employers.  It involves the incorrect classification of employees as contractors, or hourly employees as exempt salaried.  These types of violations can be intentional, or due to a failure to understand Wage and Hour laws.  Either way they can be expensive.  In the state of California the penalties for classification of a worker can result in back payroll taxes and penalties, plus fines of $25,000 per occurrence.

No one wins with payroll fraud, whether intentional or inadvertent.  Make sure your systems protect you and your employees.