109 Bedford Avenue
Bellmore, New York 11710

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

NY State Passes the Paid Family Leave Act

New York State Passes the Paid Family Leave Act!

Starting January 1, 2018 all businesses with at least one employee are required to provide Paid Family Leave coverage to its eligible employees. This act was passed in order to provide wage replacement to employees so that they can bond with a child, care for a close relative with a serious health condition or to relieve pressure when someone is called to active military duty.

The employees who take this leave will be guaranteed that they can return to their job after their leave is up and will continue to have health insurance while they are on leave and when they return.  You must pay your portion of the premium while out on leave.

The coverage for this leave will be included in the employer’s disability insurance policy.  Every employee will be required to pay their share of the policy with a paycheck deduction from each weekly paycheck. 

Who is Eligible?

Every full time employee (must be employed for 26 weeks) and part time employee (must be employed for 175 days) are eligible to take the Family Leave.

What can I use the Leave for?
  • ·         Maternity or paternity leave after a child is born, fostered or adopted.
  • ·         Must be used within the first 12 months of a child being born, fostered or adopted.
  • ·         Caring for a relative with a serious medical condition.  The relative must be a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or grandchild.
  • ·         Serious medical condition covers inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential health care facility or continuing treatment or continuing supervision by a health care provider.
  • ·         Active Military Deployment leave for families eligible for the time off under the military provisions in the federal Family Medical Leave Act when a spouse , child, domestic partner or parent of the employee is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order of active duty.

How much will the Family Leave Insurance cost the employee?

The leave deduction from each weekly paycheck will be 0.126% of their weekly wages up to but not exceeding the statewide average weekly wage.  For 2017 the average weekly wage is $1305.92.  So in other words it is 0.126% of the employee’s weekly salary up to the $1305.92/week cap.

How long are the benefits for and how much will the employee’s receive?

2018      8 weeks paid leave at 50% of the average weekly wage
2019       10 weeks leave at 55% of the average weekly wage
2020       10 weeks leave at 60% of the average weekly wage
2021       12 weeks leave at 67% of the average weekly wage

If you make $1000/week you will be eligible for $500/week paid family leave for 8 weeks in 2018 at a weekly cost to the employee of $1.26.  If you make $2000/week you will be eligible for $652.96 (50% of the NYS Average if $1305.92) at a cost of $1.65/week to the employee.

By: Christine Murphy

Monday, June 5, 2017

Wedding Season and Taxes

Wedding Season and Taxes
We are approaching wedding season, and a wedding means changes in your tax situation.  So after the honeymoon, you should take some time to think about what your recent wedding means for your taxes.

Filing Status
Whether you are planning a spring, summer, fall or winter wedding, if you are married on December 31, the IRS considers you married for the whole year!  That limits your filing choices to either married filing jointly or married filing separately.  Married couples who file separately lose out on many tax breaks.  Most of our clients have a lower tax bill if they file jointly.

Changing your Name?
If you plan to change your name after marriage, make sure Social Security knows about it!  Avoid problems when you file your tax return with your new name.  Complete and file Form SS-5 – Application for a Social Security Card with your new name.  Get the form from your local Social Security Office or go to https://www.ssa.gov to download it online. 

Withholding Tax and Your Paycheck
Your new Filing Status means different withholding rates.  Consider contacting your CPA and asking for a tax projection.  Be ready to provide copies of your latest pay stub, as well as your new spouse’s paystub.  You may also need to provide copies of prior year tax returns if your current CPA did not prepare that return.  Let your CPA know if you bought a house, had a child or anything else that may impact your taxes.  Your CPA can estimate the changes in your tax bill and help you adjust the taxes withheld from your paychecks.  This can help avoid a huge unexpected tax bill in April!

Health Insurance
Weddings mean reevaluating your health insurance coverage.  Getting married is a life event that may afford you the opportunity to make changes to your health coverage without having to wait for the open enrollment period.  If either of you have health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you must log in to your account and Report Changes in Circumstances as soon as possible.   If both of you have plans through your employers, compare plan costs to see which will offer you the best coverage at the best price.

By: Honorine M. Campisi, CPA