Here We Go Again: IRS Extends Information Reporting Deadline

From ChamberChoice

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) must report its offer of affordable coverage to its full-time employees. This reporting is achieved by providing a Form 1095-C to full-time employees (and any covered individual under a self-insured plan). In order for an individual to demonstrate having minimum essential coverage (MEC) and avoid a tax penalty under the individual mandate, insurers and small employers with self-insured health coverage, must provide a Form 1095-B to any covered responsible individual.

In 2015 and 2016 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended the deadline for issuing certain required reporting forms. Recently, the IRS issued Notice 2018-06 which again provides a similar extension regarding the reporting of health coverage provided during the 2017 calendar year. Just as before, this Notice provides an automatic 30-day extension to the deadline for issuing Forms 1095-C and 1095-B from Jan. 31, 2018 to March 2, 2018.

Since the IRS is providing this extension to all employers, no additional extensions can be requested or submitted using Form 8809. Any extensions that were already requested by an employer will not receive an additional extension.

However, a word of caution, the filing which is due to the IRS has not been extended. The due date for filing Form 1094-C to the IRS, with copies of Form 1095-Cs provided, remains at Feb. 28, 2018 if not filing electronically (less than 250 Forms). If filing 250 or more Forms, and electronically, the deadline is April 2, 2018. The ability to request a 30-day extension for this remains an option.

As in the previous extensions, this notice also provides certain “good-faith compliance” with the reporting rules. Substantial penalties may be avoided where an employer or an insurer can show that they have made good-faith efforts to comply with the information-reporting requirements (both for furnishing to individuals and for filing with the IRS). Another note of caution however, this relief only applies to missing and inaccurate taxpayer identification numbers and dates of birth, as well as other information required on the return or statement. Relief is not provided in the case of reporting entities that do not make a good-faith effort to comply with the regulations or that fail to file an information return or furnish a statement by the due dates (as extended under the rules described above).

An employer needs to be aware of the importance of the receipt of these documents by their employees. The extension of the reporting deadlines should not be interpreted as a repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate. The individual mandate, and the penalty for not having “minimum essential coverage” remains in effect for 2017 and 2018. The Notice confirms that employees need not wait to receive either a Form 1095-C or 1095-B before filing their tax returns. Instead, an employee may rely on information provided by their employer.

In summary, the IRS again has provided an extension for the distribution of Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to full-time employees and covered individuals. An extension has been granted from Jan. 31, 2108 until March 2, 2018. This extension however, is not applicable for Forms 1094-C and 1094-B which must be filed with the IRS. In addition to extending the distribution deadline, the IRS continued the interim good faith compliance standard that was in effect for the 2015 and 2016 years of ACA reporting.

Members Tour Bloomsburg YMCA, Enjoy Tasty Food From Marley’s Brewery & Grille at 2018’s First Business After Hours

Chamber members enjoyed some tasty appetizers from Marley’s Brewery & Grille, had an opportunity to tour the Bloomsburg Area YMCA and learned about some of the Y’s ongoing initiatives and mission all while networking and catching up with fellow members at the Columbia Montour Chamber’s first Business After Hours of 2018 on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Attendees also had a chance to meet the YMCA’s staff and learn about the many programs that it offers to people of all ages throughout the Bloomsburg community. Additionally, members were once again made aware of the ongoing promotion during the month of January going on at Marley’s, which brewed a special beer, Cheat Day Pale Ale, with $1 of each pint sold being donated back to the YMCA’s youth scholarship fund. Attendees that checked into the YMCA on Facebook also were given a free YMCA magnet. 

Business After Hours provide regular opportunities to build business relationships while learning about the services offered by other Chamber members. The next Business After Hours will be held at the Danville Child Development Center, located at 986 Wall St. (old address 398 Wall St.), on Wednesday, Jan. 31, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Bloomsburg and Luzerne County Community College Nursing Programs Enter Into Agreement

Two Chamber members, Bloomsburg University and Luzerne County Community College, recently entered into a new agreement that will help facilitate the transfer of LCCC’s nursing program graduates to BU to complete their bachelor’s degree. Nationally, nursing is one of the most in-demand professions and with two of our area’s largest employers — Geisinger and Commonwealth Health-Berwick Hospital Center — both being affected by this national shortage of nurses, the Chamber hopes that this new agreement can, over time, help address this workforce shortage for this profession on a local level. 

Below is the official joint press release from BU and LCCC announcing this new collaboration. 

NANTICOKE–Luzerne County Community College and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania have entered into a new agreement which will help LCCC nursing graduates transfer from the community college to Bloomsburg University to complete their bachelor’s degree.

The Guaranteed Admissions Agreement is designed to facilitate the transfer of LCCC nursing graduates from The Mary Gill Carrozza, R.N. School of Nursing and Health Sciences to the BU online nursing program. LCCC graduates will be guaranteed admission into BU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) online degree program with third year (junior) status.

In order to take advantage of the program-to-program agreement, students must graduate from LCCC with an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in nursing with a minimum grade point average of 2.0. LCCC nursing graduates are also required to successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) prior to beginning courses at BU. The application fee to Bloomsburg will be waived.

“We’re pleased to continue our valuable partnership with Bloomsburg University, which has consistently ranked among the most popular choices for our students to continue their education,” says Thomas P. Leary, president, LCCC. “The College has many nursing graduates who are employed in the region and this cooperative agreement allows them to continue their education online and obtain a bachelor’s degree while working in their field.”

“This is another fine example of the strong, collaborative efforts BU maintains with its significant community college partners in Pennsylvania, with the ultimate goal of student success,” says Dr. Bashar Hanna, president, Bloomsburg University.

For more information about the new partnership, contact Jim Domzalski, director of enrollment management at LCCC at 570-740-7342 or email, or Tom Fletcher, vice president of enrollment management at BU at 570-389-5161 or email.

PA Department of Revenue Reverses Pro-Business Policy on Capital Investments

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Late last month, the state Department of Revenue quietly made a significant change to employers’ tax filings regarding capital investments. This action is in response to the 100 percent bonus appreciation deduction that will be allowed under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The decision reverses a Corbett-era policy that allowed for this deduction at the state level. It requires taxpayers who take advantage of capital investments – primarily for the purchase of new equipment to expand or improve production at their facilities – to reflect those purchases when filing their income taxes.

The history of the agency’s changes regarding depreciation dates back to 2002, when in the wake of a Congressionally-approved “bonus” depreciation of 30 percent, the General Assembly enacted legislation to allow the same level of depreciation, but spread it out over multiple years to deflect a hit to the state General Fund. With that move to decouple the state’s depreciation policy from the federal policy, the legislature was clear about its intent – it would help businesses take advantage of the change. Fast forward to 2011, when the Corbett administration’s Revenue Department allowed state policy to mirror federal approval of a 100 percent bonus deprecation.  The new policy strips all that away and then some: it allows no depreciation until the asset is disposed of or sold.

State Rep. Frank Ryan, R-Lebanon, has since announced his plans to introduce legislation that would reverse the Revenue Department’s action in order to help business owners take full advantage of the bonus depreciation benefits enumerated under the new federal tax reform law. In a co-sponsorship memo that was circulated early last week, Rep. Ryan decried the department’s actions. “Under [Revenue Corporate Tax Bulletin] 2017-2, in the best case scenario, a taxpayer gets no deduction until the asset is sold or disposed of. If the taxpayer has equipment that may be used indefinitely, it could effectively get no depreciation write-off in Pennsylvania. This draconian pronouncement essentially tells business owners ‘thanks, but no thanks, Pennsylvania is closed for business,” Ryan wrote. The legislation to reverse these provisions will be introduced in the near future.

Member News – January 17, 2018

Member News

  • The Columbia-Montour Opioid Coalition, which is headed up by the United Way of Columbia and Montour County and of which the Chamber is a member, will host a lunchtime talk titled “Post-Holiday Depression and Addiction” on Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 12-1 p.m. at the Pine Barn Inn. This event is open to the public and a free lunch will be provided. Stephanie Fischer, clinical director of the Huntington Creek Recovery Center, will be the speaker. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page

 

  • The Weis Center for the Performing Arts will host a free classical program titled “Children’s Corner” on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 2 p.m. in the Weis Center Atrium Lobby.

    Pianist Qing Jiang

    Tickets are not required. This concert, featuring pianist Qing Jiang, will include piano music, storytelling, acting, visual arts and poetry. Children are asked to bring a favorite toy for the toy parade. This event is part of the Weis Center’s Family Discovery series, which is suggested for ages 3 and older. The run time is 60 minutes with no intermission. Families are invited to stay afterwards for free kids’ activities in the Atrium Lobby from 3-4 p.m. Visit the Weis Center’s event page for more information about this performance. 

 

  • The athletics department at Bloomsburg University will host a series of events on National Girls & Women in Sports Day on Saturday, Feb. 3 in Nelson Field House. The events are open to all girls and boys in grades K-8. The day begins with a free basketball clinic at 10 a.m., following by a speed and agility clinic, activities fair and pizza party. All participants are then invited to attend the women’s basketball game vs. Lock Haven (admission is free to participants) and a post-game autograph session. For more information, including how to RSVP, see this flyer

 

  • GAF, one of the Chamber’s newest members and North America’s largest roofing products manufacturer, will host a job fair on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at its New Columbia facility, located at 2093 Old Route 15. GAF is looking for dedicated, safety-minded individuals with manufacturing experience to join its team. An iPad mini 4 will be given out to one attendee that has completed an online job application prior to arriving at the job fair and who also completes an information card at the event. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about GAF, meet its employees, tour the facility and learn about its hiring process. Refreshments will be available. For more information, see this flyer and visit GAF’s career website.

 

  • The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation will hold its Annual Meeting on Friday, Feb. 23, from 12-1:30 p.m. at the Pine Barn Inn. A lunch will be served and attendees will be able to hear four speakers. CSCF president and CEO Holly Morrison will talk about “Spreading the Message of Philanthropy” while board member John Kurelja will speak about the regional impact of the CSCF’s philanthropic activities. Two speakers from Wilmington Trust will also talk about the CSCF’s funds’ performances. For more information, see this invitation, and to RSVP, email or call Karri Harter at 570-752-3930, ex. 6, by Feb. 16. 

 

  • MePush is looking to hire a mid- to senior-level IT wizard! For more information on the position requirements, visit the job posting

 

  • Wesley United Methodist Church has been hosting the community friendship meal since 2002. Guests in need are able to be served a warm and nutritious meal every Saturday morning from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., free of charge. Volunteer groups are needed to keep this meal going in the future. If you have a group that is interested in volunteering for a few hours on a Saturday morning during the year, please visit the church’s website and click on “community friendship meal.” For questions, please contact Katy Miller at 570-441-2850. Please note that beginning Jan. 6, the community friendship meal will be held at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 123 N. Market St., Bloomsburg, while the Wesley UM Church kitchen goes through a renovation that may last 8-12 weeks.