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"It has been an absolute pleasure working with you on our mutual clients in the M&A arena.  Rarely do lawyers understand the logistics industry, but your experience in this area is second to none...how many lawyers have a customs license?  Your experience on the buy and sell side is extraordinary, and I feel lucky when we are on the same team. Your financial background helped us avoid a few pitfalls, and I look forward to helping our mutual clients for years to come"

Cris Arens
CEO
Logisyn, Inc.

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ACA--reimbursement of health insurance premiums

The market reform section of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a $100 penalty per day per employee on any employer, regardless of its size, that offers a group health plan that fails to comply with certain coverage requirements and restrictions.

For example, a small business would be subject to this penalty if it reimburses an employee for his/her individual health care premiums.

Although these types of reimbursements have become common practice in the small business community, you, as the business owner, could now face financial ruin if assessed with a potential $36,500 per employee penalty.

This new $100 per day penalty also impacts reimbursements to greater than 2% shareholders in S-corporations.

Historically, health care reimbursements were allowed and were only included in wages, not subject to Medicare or Social Security tax. Because of ACA guidelines, these reimbursements may no longer be allowed, therefore subjecting them to the steep penalty.

In an effort to alleviate the strain on small employers, the IRS has issued transition relief. Small Employers (generally businesses with less than 50 full time and full time equivalent employees in the prior year) will get penalty relief through June 30, 2015. Businesses taxed as S-corporations can continue to report reimbursements of health insurance for 2% shareholders until December 31, 2015 or until further information is provided.

As this deadline approaches, it's important for the future of your business to ensure it is compliant with these new ACA guidelines. Don't get caught continuing the practice of illegal reimbursements after the relief date! Simply treating the premiums as taxable compensation does not solve the problem and will not exclude you from the penalty.

An option for small employers who are not subject to the mandate is to give their employees raises or bonuses as long as the increase isn't tied to their health insurance premiums. 

 

Health Care Reform Timelines

By Jan H. Raymond, Principal, Raymond International

The new health care law is too complex to cover it all in one email, but below I have summarized the key features I believe may impact you or your company. As always, if you have any questions or need further guidance, I am available to assist you.

 

Employees or Independent Contractors?

By Jan H. Raymond, Principal, Raymond International

Generally, the IRS favors classifying workers as employees. When workers are classified as independent contractors, the company does not pay employment taxes or withhold income taxes. Instead, the workers pay the full amount of employment taxes and pay income taxes, usually through estimated payments. Moreover, as independent contractors, workers are not entitled to unemployment, retirement and health benefits offered through the hiring company or many of the protections afforded to employees through the various federal acts which protect employees. As such, misclassification has a profound effect on the ability of the IRS to collect all taxes that should have been paid, and it denies workers the ability to participate in employee benefit plans and receive legal protections to which they may otherwise be entitled.

 

Temporary Importations Under Bond (TIB)

By Jan H. Raymond, Principal, Raymond International

What is a TIB?
TIB stands for Temporary Importation under Bond and is a procedure whereby, under certain conditions, merchandise may be entered -- for a limited time -- into U.S. Custom's territory free of duty. Instead of duty, the importer posts a bond for twice the amount of duty, taxes, etc. that would otherwise be owed on the importation. Under this procedure, the importer agrees to export or destroy the merchandise within a specified time or pay liquidated damages, which are twice the normal duty. Only certain items, listed below, may be entered as a TIB.

 

M&A step by step for logistics companies

By: Jan H. Raymond, Principal, Raymond International

There are certain stages to doing acquisitions regardless of the industry involved, but for each specific industry there are also issues specific to that industry that must be considered while pursuing those stages. This article is intended to be a general overview of those stages and issues as they relate to the international logistics industry.

 

What to do when the government agent comes knocking

By: Jan H. Raymond, Principal, Raymond International

As Published in the Journal of Commerce July 3, 2006

Since the logistics industry is heavily regulated, it was not uncommon, even before 9/11, to have a government agent call or visit demanding, not asking, to see documents, shipments and interview personnel. Since 9/11, these demands have arguably become more prolific and more intimidating. So, what are your rights in this situation and what should you do when the agents come knocking (often with their guns visibly displayed on their persons)?

 

The Hidden Benefits of C-TPAT Participation

By: Jan H. Raymond, Principal, Raymond International

As publlished in the Journal of Commerce

 Every few years some regulatory or private association program becomes the rage du jour. In recent years we have seen ISO (in its manifold versions) and TAPA fall into this category and this year it is C-TPAT.

 

Declared Value---Different Purposes, Different Values

By: Jan H. Raymond, Principal, Raymond International

What is the value of a cargo shipment? Is it the cost of the goods to the shipper? The replacement cost to the shipper? The out-of-pocket costs to the shipper (including freight, insurance and government fees and duties)? The price charged by the shipper to the consignee (i.e. the cost to the shipper plus the anticipated profit margin)? All of the above?

 

How Do FCR's and B/L's Differ

By: Jan H. Raymond, Principal, Raymond International

FCR

An “FCR” is a forwarder’s cargo receipt. As its name indicates, it is a transactional document issued by a freight forwarder to confirm receipt of cargo. It is not a transportation document.