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    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Retirement Plan Corrections

    9/22/2022

    The complexity of managing a retirement plan can be worrisome for business owners and plan administrators and is a common reason that owners opt not to offer them. Retirement plans are governed by complicated rules and regulations, so there is a definite possibility for plan administrators to make errors in managing the plan. Luckily, the IRS has enacted and recently expanded programs to correct certain errors with reduced or no penalties. If you are a BFG retirement plan client, we will help you review your plan, identify errors and correct any administrative oversights. In the article below, we’ll cover common plan errors, how to discover them, and what to do if you find an error has been made.  Read more...


    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Employee Benefits: Fiduciary Duties, Enrollment Systems, & Employer Risks

    8/2/2022

    In May, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s decision in the case of Skelton v. Radisson Hotel Bloomington that an employer failed in its role as Plan Administrator of a supplemental life insurance program and the insurer failed its fiduciary duty in determining an employee’s eligibility for the same program. This case highlights the exposure that employers have regarding the way in which they provide and maintain benefits for their employees. It also underscores the vital need for an operative, effective benefits enrollment system as well as clear, intentional communication among those charged with managing it.  Read more...


    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Two Retirement Plan Options with Potential Benefits for Owners & Key Employees

    7/28/2022

    Safe Harbor 401(k) and Cash Balance Plans are two options that may allow company owners and key employees to save more for retirement.  Read more...


    Human Resources & Payroll

    December 2021 LOG4J Security Breach

    6/15/2022

    Log4J, a widely used library of code templates used for logging and troubleshooting, has a critical vulnerability that was publicly disclosed on Friday, December 9, 2021.  Clients have not been affected by the vulnerability.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    New Multifactor Authentication Required for CPO Phoenix

    5/10/2022

    Multifactor authentication (MFA) is an added layer of security to protect sensitive information housed within the payroll system, which until now, has been optional for users. Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Wait to Cash Your ERC Check until the Calculations have been Reconciled

    3/22/2022

    ERC notices and checks are coming through for quarters where 941 amendments were used with a 7-9 month turnaround. In some cases, we are seeing some calculation or application errors by the IRS. In some of those cases, we believe cashing the check can potentially lead to other problems.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    CMS COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Now Applies to Healthcare Workers in Texas

    1/20/2022

    In seesaw fashion, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas has now dismissed the December 2021 lawsuit that was filed by the state of Texas against the CMS Healthcare Vaccine Mandate. As a result, this removes the injunction against the Mandate and it appears that healthcare providers in Texas are no longer excluded. We expect to see more clarification soon and will provide more specific details about the rules and timing shortly.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    CMS COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Blocked for Healthcare Workers in Texas

    1/20/2022

    On Thursday, January 13, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers.  At the same time, the Supreme Court ruled to allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate that requires employees of Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to remain in place.  Both of these cases will now be sent back to the lower courts to decide whether to permanently block or uphold the vaccine mandates.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    SCOTUS Blocks OSHA Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

    1/13/2022

    On Thursday, January 13, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers.  At the same time, the Supreme Court ruled to allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate that requires employees of Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to remain in place.  Both of these cases will now be sent back to the lower courts to decide whether to permanently block or uphold the vaccine mandates. Please read on for details.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    SCOTUS Likely to Block OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19 Policy

    1/10/2022

    Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for and against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which is a COVID-19 vaccine/testing rule that will apply to employers with 100 or more employees.  Read more...


     

    BFG News

    NAWBO-SA Member Blog features Lynn Weirich

    12/14/2021

    In December 2021, Lynn Weirich was featured in the National Association of Women Business Owners-San Antonio Chapter (NAWBO-SA) Member Blog with BFG's HR Year-end Checklist and Compliance Reminders.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Deadlines Approaching for Repayment of Deferred Payroll Taxes

    12/8/2021

    In an attempt to boost the economy in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, the government allowed employers to defer certain payroll taxes for both employers and employees in 2020. Those who opted to do so must pay back the deferred taxes by the applicable deadline.  Please read on for more information.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & PayrollGroup Insurance & Retirement Plans

    HR Year-end Checklist & Compliance Reminders

    11/10/2021

    We’re already in the fourth quarter of 2021! Now is a great time to check on your employee programs and make sure you’ve completed all required tasks based on today’s regulations.  To help facilitate this process, we've compiled the following checklist of common year-end compliance tasks, reminders, and deadlines, plus information to share with (like updated contribution limits) or request from (name and address changes) your employees.  We've organized this checklist into three sections: payroll, retirement, and benefits.  If you are a BFG client in any of these areas, we will have discussed these items with you and, in some cases as marked on the checklist, we will facilitate them.  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment Management, BFG News

    Succession planning in advance | Kim Moore & Malcolm Lui

    11/2/2021

    Kim Moore and Malcolm Lui of Eversprint discuss how Kim helps business owners with succession planning.  See the interview...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    FFCRA Update

    9/28/2021

    We're writing with an update on paid sick leave (PSL) and paid family leave (PFL) provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  Please let us know if you have any employees out on COVID-related leave as soon as possible.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    TWC Clarifies 2nd Quarter Payment Deadline

    8/31/2021

    The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recently sent out incorrect payment deadlines on their Statement of Employer Accounts, which are generated by its Unemployment Insurance Tax System.  On August 30, the TWC clarified that the second quarter tax payment deadline is actually September 30, 2021.  Interest will begin to accrue October 1 for payments not made by that date.  Below are the deadlines released by the TWC.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    ERC May End Early to Pay for Infrastructure Bill

    8/10/2021

    Last week, two pieces of news related to Employee Retention Tax Credits (ERC) were released.  First, on August 2, details of the infrastructure bill were released, including an announcement that the proposed legislative package in its current form would largely end the ERC on September 30 instead of the current December 31 deadline.  Meanwhile, on August 4, the IRS released Notice 2021-49, which provides guidance and clarification on the ERC.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    The SECURE Act 2.0: What it Means for Retirement Planning

    8/4/2021

    A bill that comprehensively reshapes the realm of employer-sponsored retirement plans for employers and employees alike has been passed into law and additional legislation may be passed soon. The bipartisan Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act—originally introduced in April 2019—was signed into law on December 20, 2019.  Shortly after that, COVID-19 became a primary focus for everyone, so the changes brought by the SECURE Act were not covered as extensively as they might have been in different circumstances.  Below is a look at what the new proposed legislation (known as the SECURE Act 2.0) may contain along with a summary of the provisions of the SECURE Act.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    No Surprises Act: New Law Targets Surprise Balance Billing on National Level

    4/23/2021

    In addition to stimulus relief and the 2021 federal budget, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, passed in December of 2020, included the No Surprises Act, which targets the practice of surprise balance billing.  Surprise balance billing occurs when a patient receives an unexpected bill from a medical provider.  Typically, these bills are connected to emergency or hospital-based services wherein the costs of services or the fact that a provider is out of network was not disclosed in advance.  In addition to being totally unexpected, these bills can also be incredibly expensive, leaving patients with a nasty surprise.  The No Surprises Act is designed to remove the patient from negotiations between medical providers and insurers; in addition, it also requires that some information about estimated costs be provided to patients in advance of scheduled medical services.  The law goes into effect for plan or policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2022.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Unemployment Fraud: Identity Theft & Credit Monitoring

    4/13/2021

    Unfortunately, we have received word from a number of clients that they are receiving unemployment claims on employees who are still employed and have not filed claims.  Please read on for more information.  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment Management

    9 Tips: Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

    4/13/2021

    You may be like most people. You believe that identity theft could never happen to you. Then, one day, you go to the mailbox, open your monthly credit card statement, and see a host of charges made to your account in a country you’ve never dreamed of visiting. That’s a type of identity theft, and you’ve become one of the millions of its victims in the U.S. every year.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    COVID Stimulus: American Rescue Plan

    3/19/2021

    On Thursday, March 11, a new COVID-19 stimulus package was signed into law: the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP). It includes updates to many of the COVID-relief programs with which business owners have become familiar: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Employee Retention Credits (ERC), Paid Leave Credits, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL).  One new grant program, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), was also created.  Please read on for details of programs that will affect business owners.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    IRS Releases Guidance on ERC: New Notice Explains Changes Made in December's Stimulus

    3/11/2021

    On Monday, March 1, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2021-20 (Guidance on the Employee Retention Credit under Section 2301 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act).  The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) was created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and was amended in December as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act.  One major change is that Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) participants are now allowed to take advantage of ERC.  Notice 2021-20 provides guidance on key questions about how PPP participants may retroactively claim ERC for wages paid in 2020.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    IRS Communication & Guidance: We Are Awaiting Guidance On ERC From IRS; Meanwhile, IRS Is Sending Confusing Notices

    1/28/2021

    We are expecting additional guidance from the IRS on how companies that are newly eligible may claim Employee Retention Credits (ERC) and will work to process credits for your business as soon as we have instructions from the IRS. Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Employee Retention Credits: Enhanced By Recent Stimulus Package

    1/15/2021

    The recent stimulus package, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, (CAA), signed into law on December 27, 2020, made some significant changes to Employee Retention Credits (ERC).  One major update is that employers who have received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan may also receive ERC, which had not been allowed under the previous rules. Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    FFCRA Paid Leave Update: Employer Tax Credits Extended to 3/31/21

    12/31/2020

    One area addressed in the recent stimulus package, signed into law on December 27, 2020, is paid leave mandated by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  FFCRA’s mandate for certain employers to provide paid leave and receive a tax credit to reimburse the cost of that paid leave was set to expire on December 31, 2020. Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    COVID Stimulus: PPP Round 2

    12/28/2020

    On Sunday, December 27, a new COVID-19 stimulus package was signed into law. The $900 billion deal is a 5,000+ page bill that features many meaningful programs that affect individuals, small businesses, nursing homes, communities, colleges, universities and K-12 schools. Read more...


     

    Human Resources & PayrollGroup Insurance & Retirement Plans

    HR Year-end Checklist & Compliance Reminders

    12/16/2020

    2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, during which adapting to life with COVID-19 has been a primary focus.  Because of the unusual year, now is great time to check on your employee programs and make sure you’ve completed all required tasks based on today’s regulations.  To help facilitate this process, we've compiled the following checklist of common year-end compliance tasks, reminders, and deadlines, plus information to share with (like updated contribution limits) or request from (name and address changes) your employees.  We've organized this checklist into three sections: payroll, retirement, and benefits.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    PPP Update: It May Be Time For Loan Forgiveness

    11/10/2020

    To say that 2020 has been a whirlwind may be a little bit of an understatement.  The situation with the pandemic, shutdowns, and government response has forced business owners to be more reactive than proactive. Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Modifications to FFCRA Regulations: Paid Sick Leave

    9/25/2020

    As a result of the recent New York federal court ruling, which rejected portions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) regulations, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued revised rules that went into effect on September 16, 2020, and will continue to be enforceable through the end of 2020. Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    PPP Update: Strategically Timing Your PPP Forgiveness Application

    9/23/2020

    Several bills have recently been introduced in Congress aiming to largely simplify the PPP forgiveness process. At least two of these bills – US Senate Bill 4117 and US Senate Bill 4321 – aim for automatic forgiveness of a loan that is not more than $150,000 if the recipient submits a one-page form. Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    New Timekeeping Feature: Mobile Location Management

    9/21/2020

    Our Timekeeping Module has a new feature to help you with keeping track of your mobile workforce: Mobile Location Management.  Read more....


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Coronavirus: Employer Q&A

    7/27/2020

    We have been receiving a number of questions from clients on how to handle coronavirus from an HR perspective.  Because it is likely that most of our clients may have similar questions, we are collecting these into the following Q&A format guide.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    New Rules: Executive Order for Bexar County

    6/19/2020

    On June 17, 2020, County Judge Nelson Wolff issued Executive Order NW-10, which includes several mandates for both individuals and businesses in Bexar County.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    PPP Update: SBA Releases New Loan Forgiveness Application

    6/19/2020

    As a result of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act of 2020, on June 17, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) released a revised Loan Forgiveness Application and simplified “EZ Application” for use by certain borrowers.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Main Street Lending Program: A New Source of Capital for Small Business

    6/19/2020

    The Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) was created by the Federal Reserve to “support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”  Loans range from $250,000 to $300 million depending on the facility being used.  The lender portal for the MSLP opened on Monday, and while some banks that applied are still awaiting approval, many are preparing to provide these loans to clients.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    PPP Flex Act: New Information

    6/12/2020

    Last Wednesday, June 3, the Senate passed by unanimous consent the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which had previously passed the House on a 417-1 vote.  The Act became Law officially on Friday, June 5.  The legislation modifies the original requirements with hopes of making loan forgiveness more flexible and, therefore, more attainable. And, so far, it appears that may be the case.  Read more...


     

    BFG News

    We're Open!

    6/12/2020

    Business Financial Group has remained operational during the city-wide shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our full staff has been working from home, and we brought everyone back to the office on June 8th after 2 ½ months of working from home.  We want to let you know about the steps we are taking to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    PPP Fixes Passed: Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

    6/4/2020

    On Wednesday, June 3, the Senate passed by unanimous consent on a voice vote the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which had previously passed the House on a 417-1 vote. The Act was in response to complaints about some stipulations of the Paycheck Protection Program’s loan forgiveness.  The legislation modifies the original requirements with hopes of making loan forgiveness more flexible and, therefore, more attainable.  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment Management

    Early Signs Suggest Reopening Going Better than Expected

    5/26/2020

    In the past week, we had some mixed news on the coronavirus pandemic. Testing continued to rise, although improvement in slowing the spread rate and case growth seemed to stall. Further, the number of active cases started to grow again, a negative sign. Overall, conditions still remain much better than they have been in recent weeks, but we did not see much (if any) additional progress in controlling the virus.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    SBA PPP Loan Application

    5/17/2020

    On Friday, May 15, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    How to Plan for PPP Loan Forgiveness

    4/24/2020

    On Friday, 4/24/2020, Kim Moore participated in an online Zoom call hosted by Shannon Badger with Badger CPA to discuss Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness and documentation requirements.  They covered allowable expenditures, strategies for allocating funds, and best practices for documentation.  Please see the corresponding Q&A document that includes information covered during the discussion.  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment Management

    The CARES Act: Impact on Individuals

    4/20/2020

    There are provisions affecting individuals that range from the stimulus checks which are finding their way to bank accounts or mailboxes, penalty-free retirement plan distributions, increased retirement plan loans, enhanced charitable contributions, and education loan relief.  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment Management

    Are We Seeing Signs of Progress in the Coronavirus Crisis? A Video from Commonwealth Financial Network®

    4/20/2020

    We would like to offer you the opportunity to hear thoughts from Brad McMillan, managing principal and chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network®, our Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer.  In this video, Mr. McMillan provides an update on the coronavirus crisis, including its effects on the economy and markets.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    PPP SBA Loan Forgiveness Request

    4/20/2020

    In an Interim Final Rule issued April 14, the SBA provided its process for submitting a request for forgiveness. The rule indicates that the request could be submitted as early as the end of the week seven of the 8-week covered period.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Reactivating Employees for Compensation

    4/20/2020

    If you have been approved or have received funding from the a PPP SBA Loan and would like to "reactivate" employees in order to begin paying them during the 8-week covered period, we have provided links to Employee Notices you may want to use.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    The CARES Act: Expanded Unemployment

    4/20/2020

    The CARES ACT, through a provision called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), has expanded both the amount that can be collected and who is covered under PUA.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    CARES Act: Additional Provisions that Might Affect You

    4/20/2020

    The CARES ACT was a $2+ Trillion unprecedented Act of Congress designed to provide relief to Americans who have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and subsequent "Stay at Home" orders. Up until now, most of our attention has been devoted to the SBA Payroll Protection Program loans because it had such a short window of time to respond.  However, the law includes some other elements that could be beneficial for you.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    SBA PPP: Managing the 8-Week Process

    4/15/2020

    We've prepared some guidelines to help if you have applied for an SBA Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan. What's next? Our article explains how you might prepare for loan funding and expense documentation.  While new information and guidance from the SBA is expected, we're providing this feedback in our best effort to keep you abreast of what to expect next as this situation evolves.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Paycheck Protection Program

    3/30/2020

    On Friday, March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law, providing an unprecedented level of emergency assistance for families and businesses affected by COVID 19.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    COVID-19 and Other Viruses: Steps BFG is Taking to Ensure Safety

    3/17/2020

    We have sent several updates on COVID-19 and actions that our clients and contacts should consider taking in the midst of this pandemic, and we will continue to do so.  Now we’d like to describe policies that we’ve had in place at BFG for many years along with some enhancements in an effort give you some reassurance of how we are seeking to protect our staff and clients while we continue to provide support to our clients and their employees.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Coronavirus: Steps to Ensure Safety in the Workplace

    3/9/2020

    News of the coronavirus is everywhere, and the fear that is the product of this news seems more widespread than the virus itself.  That said, there is much truth in the adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace.  What actions should companies take to ensure workplace safety?  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment Management

    What does the Coronavirus Mean for Investors?

    3/9/2020

    Despite attempts by Chinese authorities to contain the coronavirus, the numbers make clear that the virus is now spreading around the world. According to the World Health Organization, there are 79,331 confirmed cases, of which 77,262 are in China and 2,069 are outside of China (as of February 24, 2020). Unfortunately, the numbers only seem to be growing, with the Washington Post recently reporting that there were 833 confirmed cases in South Korea and 53 confirmed cases in the U.S.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    The SECURE Act: What it Means for Retirement Planning

    2/13/2020

    A bill that comprehensively reshapes the realm of employer-sponsored retirement plans for employers and employees alike has been passed into law. The bipartisan Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act—originally introduced in April 2019—was signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2019.  We are still expecting additional guidance to be provided on several of the provisions of the SECURE Act, but below is a summary of what we know today.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Update: San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Postponed to December 1

    7/19/2019

    The San Antonio Paid Sick Leave ordinance that was scheduled to go into effect in San Antonio on August 1 has been postponed until December 1.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Update: San Antonio & Dallas Paid Sick Leave Mandates are Effective August 1

    7/15/2019

    While a court injunction still blocks the paid sick leave (PSL) ordinance in Austin, the San Antonio and Dallas ordinances are on track to become effective on August 1, 2019 for employers with more than 5 employees working within city limits.  The ordinance doesn’t require that an employer is based in San Antonio or Dallas, simply that an employee spends time working on behalf of the employer within those cities.  Do you have any employees who work 80 hours per year within Dallas or San Antonio?  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    New Texas Laws: Targeting Surprise Medical Billing and Deceptive Practices

    6/20/2019

    The Texas Legislative session brought three new laws related to payments for medical care.  One bill, Senate Bill 1264, is intended to curb a practice called “surprise” or “balance” billing.  The other two bills—House Bills 2041 and 1941—target deceptive advertising used and high prices charged by some freestanding ERs.  This article contains a descriptive of these bills, which are newly signed into law and will go into effect September 1, 2019.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Legislative Update: New Federal Action on Retirement Plans

    6/13/2019

    In order to encourage retirement savings, members of the US Senate and House of Representatives have drafted legislation aimed at reforming some aspects of current retirement plan regulations.  This article contains a description of bills that are currently being evaluated.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Next Steps: Local Paid Sick Leave Mandates

    5/31/2019

    In our last installment, we discussed the status of action by the Texas Legislature to block local paid sick leave ordinances that have passed in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas.  This legislation did not pass in the Texas House and therefore was not signed into law.  That means that local paid sick leave ordinances in San Antonio and Dallas will come into effect starting August 1, 2019, unless some other action is taken.  The latter part of this article will describe the ordinance in detail, but let’s start with who is affected and who is not.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Paid Sick Leave Stands? Bills to Ban Local Ordinances Have Stalled in Texas Legislature

    5/22/2019

    Local paid sick leave ordinances have now passed in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas.  Austin’s ordinance is on hold after an Appeals Court found it was unconstitutional and preempted by Texas’s minimum wage law.  That court remanded the case back to district court for further proceedings, and Austin may appeal that decision.  Many in the business community had hopes that Texas would pass legislation banning local paid sick leave ordinances.  Now, it seems like the proposed bills are stalled out in the Texas House and do not appear on the calendar to be voted on before the end of the Legislative Session.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Geo-Based AHP "Pause": DOL Files Appeal of AHP Ruling

    5/20/2019

    The Department of Labor has filed an appeal of a March 28 ruling by US District Judge John D. Bates.  In a lawsuit brought by 11 states and the District of Columbia, Judge Bates had ruled that two elements of the DOL’s rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs) were invalid.  Rather than file a stay, the DOL decided to appeal the decision and has requested an expedited hearing.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Biometric Screening as part of Humana's Go365 Program

    5/1/2019

    Humana has announced several free biometric screening events, occurring from May to August, for their Go365 Wellness and Rewards Program members.  As an employer who may be eligible for premium discounts through Humana’s Go365 program, you may want to encourage your employees to take advantage of this quick and easy way to earn points and proactively manage their health.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    SSN No-Match Letters: What Should You Do if You Receive One?

    4/10/2019

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) has again started sending no-match letters, which indicate that a W-2 submitted by an employer does not match up with the name and social security number (SSN) that the SSA has on file.  The discrepancy could simply be the result of a typo, but it may also be the result of a more serious issue, such as identity theft.  Employers who receive these letters must try to resolve the error without taking any adverse action against the employee based solely on the letter.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Taxes on Employee Parking

    3/26/2019

    Some employers offer reserved parking as an added perk to their employees, either as a temporary award or more permanent assignment.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act amended Section 274(a)(4) of the tax law so that it “generally disallows a deduction for expenses with respect to QTFs [Qualified Transportation Fringes] by taxpayers to their employees,” meaning that providing a reserved parking spot to an employee may not be a tax deductible expense as of 2018.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Overtime Rules? A New DOL Proposal has been Released

    3/21/2019

    Earlier in March, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a new proposal on overtime for employees who are classified as “exempt.”  Much debate has occurred on this issue dating back to a proposal by the Obama administration in 2016, which was blocked by a US District Court in Texas just 9 days before the rule came into effect.  While this new rule may face similar legal challenges, it’s important for employers to develop a plan of action so they are ready if the new rule takes effect in January of 2020, as scheduled.  Please read on to learn more about the new rule.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Tax Reform Effects: Smaller Tax Refunds Reported

    2/15/2019

    Tax season has begun, and preliminary reports show that the average refund is down about 8% from the same time last year, from $2,035 to $1,864, causing speculation that consumer spending may be hurt due to refund reductions.  At the time of the report, approximately 16 million returns had been filed and 13 million were processed.  During the 2017 tax season, nearly 152 million returns were processed, and some argue that the small sample size so far this year may skew the data and not be a true indicator of the overall population.  The Internal Revenue Service provides filing season statistics every year, which will be needed to see whether these preliminary reports prove to be true.  In the meantime, what might cause this change in dynamics?  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    We Can Help! New SA Chamber Association Health Plan

    2/6/2019

    The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has announced they are now offering an Association Health Plan (AHP) with United HealthCare (UHC).  Although there has been some confusion, the plans are open to all members of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) through any licensed agent or broker.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    E-Verify is Up & Running: Employer Action Required by 2/11/2019

    1/30/2019

    During the shutdown, the Federal Government’s electronic employment verification system (E-Verify) was unavailable.  Now it is operational again, and employers who participate are required to take action by February 11, 2019.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    E-Verify Website is Down: Government Shutdown & I-9 Requirements

    1/17/2019

    The Federal Government has been “shut down” since December 22, 2018.  As a result, the Federal Government’s electronic employment verification system—E-Verify—is unavailable.  What does this mean for employers who use E-Verify?  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment Management

    Tax Reform May Bring a New Strategy for End of Year Giving

    12/27/2018

    Charitable giving may get a shot in the arm.  The new tax reform law has raised the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples and has reduced some itemized deductions.  Deductions for state, local, and property taxes have been capped at $10,000, leaving charitable giving as one of the remaining available deductions.  In addition, the limit on what people can deduct is increasing from 50% to 60% of adjusted gross income (AGI).  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment Management

    Market Thoughts in this Volatile December

    12/27/2018

    As we approach year-end, the market continues to drop. Plus, the major U.S. stock market indices are now in or approaching bear market territory (i.e., down 20 percent or more). As such, there is a real concern that this drawdown signals something even worse ahead. Worry levels are rising. And as the worry levels rise, the problem gets even worse.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & PayrollGroup Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Yearend Checklist

    12/4/2018

    This year may feel like a blur, and it is quickly coming to a close.  The holiday season is upon us, and many of us are beginning to plan for next year.  Now is a great time to think about the goals we will be working on in 2019, from our sales and activity goals to our goals for our employee programs.  To help facilitate this process, we’re providing a list of reminders and common yearend tasks based on today’s regulations.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Apple Watch Now Syncs with UHC Motion

    11/15/2018

    After November 15th, UnitedHealthcare Motion customers will be able to track their FIT goals using the Apple Watch.  UnitedHealthcare Motion is a wellness program offered through UHC.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    AHPs Arrive in Texas

    10/19/2018

    They weren’t born in Texas, but they got here as fast as they could!  UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has introduced three geographically-based Association Health Plans (AHPs) that are now available in Texas.  UHC is offering some of their most popular plans to associations that would like to set up AHPs, and they anticipate premium savings for certain groups compared to the ACA’s adjusted community rating structure.  If we are your benefits consultant, we will review all of your options, including involvement in an AHP, as part of your renewal.  If you have recently renewed, we are also comparing your recent renewal against the new geographical-based AHPs available with UHC and will let you know if it is worthy of your consideration.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Creditable Coverage Notice for Medicare-eligible Individuals

    10/4/2018

    Employers who sponsor group health plans should be aware that the annual deadline to provide notice of Creditable Coverage to Medicare-eligible employees is October 15Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Austin Paid Leave Ordinance Temporarily Suspended

    8/24/2018

    In February, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The ordinance was set to go into effect October 1.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    San Antonio Passes Paid Leave Ordinance

    8/17/2018

    On Thursday, August 16, 2018, by a 9-2 vote, the San Antonio City Council passed an ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  San Antonio is following Austin, which passed a very similar ordinance in February of 2018.  One difference is that San Antonio’s ordinance will not be effective until August 1, 2019, almost a full year after Austin’s ordinance. Read more...


     

    BFG News

    BFG's Website is Live!

    8/7/2018

    Our new website is live!  We included new features in response to client feedback.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Update on Austin's New Paid Leave Ordinance: Will it Affect You?

    6/29/2018

    In February, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  Any employers whose employees work in Austin are affected, and advocacy groups anticipate similar action taking place in large cities across Texas.  Will you be affected?  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    New Rules: Trump's DOL Releases Rules on Association Health Plans

    6/20/2018

    On June 19, 2018, the Department of Labor released their final rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs).  This action is in response to an executive order that President Trump issued in October of 2017, which directed the Secretary of Labor to consider proposing regulations or revising guidance on AHPs.  The rule is 198 pages.  Today, we’d like to provide a high-level overview and begin to answer how this change may affect you.  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment Management

    The Tax Law Has Changed: You Should Review Your Estate Plan

    6/13/2018

    “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  Estate planning involves both of those certainties.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has changed the tax law as it relates to estate taxes, with lifetime exemptions doubling.  While these changes are set to expire in 2025, families could take advantage of the new tax law in the interim. Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    2019 HSA Contribution Limits

    6/13/2018

    The Internal Revenue Service has announced new contribution limits for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in 2019.  An HSA is a bank account that can be used in conjunction with a high deductible health plan to save pre-tax funds for medical expenses.  Both employers and employees can contribute to the account, but the account and all monies contained within are owned by the employee.  HSAs can provide a significant way to save for current and future medical expenses free of tax.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    New Comparabilty Plans: Add-on Feature Can Help You Save More

    4/19/2018

    With changes due to Tax Reform, business owners may find that their overall taxes are going down, providing an opportunity to take that windfall and strategically evaluate creative retirement plan designs with tax benefits for saving.  A New Comparability Plan is one potential option to consider.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    IRS Reduces 2018 Family HSA Contribution Limit

    3/16/2018

    On March 5, the IRS announced a change to the 2018 Family Health Savings Account (HSA) Contribution Limit: a $50 reduction to the amount they announced last year.  People with family coverage will need to adjust their withholding amount if they were attempting to make the maximum allowable contribution to their HSA.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    IRS Releases New W-4 & Recommends "Paycheck Checkup"

    3/7/2018

    On February 28, the IRS released a revised Form W-4 and a Withholding Calculator for 2018.  These updates come as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Due to the dramatic changes to the law, Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter stated, “the IRS encourages employees to check their paychecks to help ensure they’re having the right amount of tax withheld for their personal situation.”  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    ICE Director Delivers on Promise of Increased Enforcement

    2/16/2018

    At a press conference in December, acting US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan announced that he would like to quadruple worksite enforcement: “I want to see a 400% increase in work site operations. We’re not just talking about arresting the aliens at these work sites, we are also talking about employers who knowingly hire people who are unauthorized to work.”  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    IRS Sends Penalty Letters

    2/16/2018

    The IRS is currently sending letters to inform employers of penalties due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This letter, called 226J, is being sent to groups that did not offer coverage that was affordable and met the minimum essential requirements as specified by the ACA. These groups are therefore required to make an Employer Shared Responsibility Payment (ESRP). These penalties can be severe. The illustration below, taken from a real letter, shows a penalty amount of $213,026.  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment Management

    Market Volatility & Your Strategy

    2/9/2018

    With the recent market declines, U.S. markets are now in an official correction (a 10% decline as opposed to a bear market, which is a 20% downturn).  A drop in the markets can initially seem scary; however, those with an established investment strategy can have a different perspective.  At times like these, experts like Warren Buffet advise investors to stick with their strategy and, if cash is available, to take advantage of drops in the market.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Budget Deal Includes Medicare Provisions

    2/9/2018

    Congress has just passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, a bill that will continue to fund the government through March 23, 2018. It also includes key Medicare provisions intended to help seniors by providing better and more coordinated healthcare services. The bill will arrive on President Trump's desk today and he is expected to sign it.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Common W-2 Questions

    2/6/2018

    Tax season is upon us!  To help ring in the season, we would like to share answers to the top questions we get on Forms W-2.  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment Management

    What does the Market Decline mean for you?

    2/6/2018

    Market drops are scary, especially when they come day after day. The decline on Monday, February 5, was particularly bad. In fact, it has been billed as the largest point drop ever for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Looking at that, it’s normal to think that the stock market is in a downward spiral. History shows, however, that this is often not the case. Although declines like we have seen in the past week are not fun, they generally are not reason to panic.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    IRS FAQ on Payroll Withholding Changes

    1/12/2018

    On Thursday, January 11, the IRS released Notice 1036, updating the income tax withholding tables for 2018 in response to the new tax law.  They also released Withholding Tables Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), available here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-withholding-tables-frequently-asked-questionsRead more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Form I-9 Enforcement Increases in 2018

    1/12/2018

    On Wednesday, January 10, federal agents raided 7-Eleven stores across the nation. The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made 21 arrests and served inspection notices at the franchise convenience stores.  This action comes after acting ICE Director Thomas Homan’s October announcement that he would increase the amount of time spent on worksite enforcement by four or five times.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    IRS Statement: Withholding for 2018

    12/29/2017

    On December 26, the IRS announced they are still working to develop withholding guidance to implement the new tax reform law, which was signed on December 22.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017: What Taxpayers Need to Know

    12/29/2017

    On December 22, 2017, the President signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the act or TCJA). The legislation makes significant changes to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), including individual, corporate, and gift and estate taxation.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    IRS Announces ACA Reporting Extension

    12/29/2017

    The IRS has extended the deadline for providing 1095 forms to employees from January 31 to March 2, 2018.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Trump's Executive Order on Healthcare

    10/13/2017

    Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order (EO), which he said will “promote healthcare and competition.”  The EO is intended to make lower premiums and greater access more widely available.  Read more...


     

    Financial Planning & Investment ManagementHuman Resources & Payroll

    Planning for Disasters

    10/7/2017

    Disasters can be life-changing and stressful; however, avoiding the topic doesn’t eliminate the stress or the possibility of a disaster occurring.  Whether a medical emergency or severe weather—like we’ve just witnessed across the southern United States—we know that some disasters are unavoidable.  The best defense in these situations is having compliant policies in place and ensuring your staff is well-trained on them.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    TXTA Conference Recap: Workplace Financial Wellness

    9/8/2017

    Does it ever feel like you're hiring an employee's family when you hire the employee?  Like you're getting their positive attributes but sometimes along with their stress?  The fact is that you are.  When you hire an employee, you get everything that comes along with them.  In general, people are stressed, and so that means our employees are stressed regardless of how professionally they act when we see them on the job.  The reality is that there's a cost to ignoring this challenge.  Then what's the alternative?  Employers have the option to provide a very significant opportunity for employees to address their financial lives.  Workplace Financial Wellness is a growing type of benefit that is specifically designed to help employees learn to manage their financial lives and thus reduce their stress and anxiety.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    TXTA Conference Recap: How Texas Trucking Companies are Designing 401(k) Plans to Maximize Participation

    9/1/2017

    A company retirement plan is designed to be part of the overall compensation strategy.  We can view weekly pay as current pay and retirement contributions as future pay.  Offering a retirement plan is probably the greatest opportunity to help employees with preparing for the future.  Employers do have a number of available options to encourage participation in their retirement plan.  For today, we will focus on the most common type of retirement plan, a 401(k) plan.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    TXTA Conference Recap: Insured Options: High Deductible Health Plans

    8/30/2017

    Where is health care headed?  That would be anyone's guess at this point.  What we know is that efforts to modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) so far have failed.  It is a massive law, and there has been no consensus on an overall fix.  Currently, there is some work under way to try to fix certain provisions both sides can agree on, but we're likely going to have the results of the ACA with us for a long time to come.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    TXTA Conference Recap: Compensation Strategy & Planning

    8/25/2017

    Managing compensation is part of the overall management of a strong corporate culture.  What we know is you cannot win on pay alone, and you cannot win without it.  We frequently hear from business owners that employees leave to work where the pay rate is perceived as higher and that there is not an appreciation or understanding of all the other things being done as part of their compensation package.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    TXTA Conference Recap: Employee Stress & Financial Health

    8/23/2017

    Your employees are stressed, very likely due to concerns about their financial health.  A study by the American Psychological Association found that money is a top source of stress for Americans: "Nearly three-quarters (72%) of adults report feeling stressed about money at least some of the time and nearly one-quarter say that they experience extreme stress about money (22% rate their stress about money during the past month as an 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale)."  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    Revised Form I-9 Published July 17, 2017

    7/21/2017

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, on July 17, 2017. The revision date can be found in the lower left corner of the form.  Read more...


     

    BFG News

    Announcing Mrs. Amanda Larson

    5/15/2017

    We are pleased to announce that on April 8, 2017, one of our consultants, Amanda Ashley, was married to Ryan Larson.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    W-2 Phishing Scam

    2/17/2017

    The IRS has released an alert on phishing scams intended to steal employee W-2 information.  In particular, the IRS reports not only that this W-2 phishing scam has targeted schools, restaurants, hospitals, and tribal groups, but that it is also evolving to target other industries.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & Payroll

    New Form I-9 & Fine Increases

    9/29/2016

    Employers should expect the release of a new Form I-9 by November 22, 2016.  In August, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the revised Form I-9, but employers may still use the existing form (revision date: 3/8/2013) until January 21, 2017.  After that date, all previous versions will be considered invalid.  The latest version of the Form I-9 will have an expiration date of August 31, 2019. Read more...


     

    BFG News

    BFG Leader pins Governor Abbott during NAWBO-SA Legislative Day

    2/5/2015

    Business Financial Group President Lynn Weirich honored new Governor Greg Abbott with a Fiesta Medal during the first Legislative Day at the Texas Capital for the National Association of Women Business Owners-San Antonio chapter (NAWBO-SA) on Feb. 3. Governor Abbott had just unveiled a new initiative to make Texas the state that has the most women-owned businesses.  Read more...


     

     

     

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