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    Legal & Regulatory Updates

    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

    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...


     

    Employee Benefits & Insurance

    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 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

    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...


     

    Employee Benefits & Insurance

    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...


     

    Legal & Regulatory Updates, 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...


     

    Legal & Regulatory Updates, 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...


     

    Legal & Regulatory Updates, Financial Planning

    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...


     

    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...


     

    Legal & Regulatory Updates

    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...


     

    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...


     

    Financial Planning

    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...


     

    Compliance

    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...


     

    Legal & Regulatory Updates, 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...


     

    BFG in the 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...


     

    Employee Benefits & Insurance

    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...


     

    Legal & Regulatory Updates, Employee Benefits & Insurance

    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...


     

    Retirement Plans

    New Comparability 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...