Compliance Center: Small Business Health Care Tax Credit Filing Deadline is May 15

The filing deadline to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for the 2015 tax year is coming up on May 15, which could lead to big savings for eligible small credit unions.

In December 2010, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released guidance on how small employers may be eligible to claim the new Small Business Health Care Tax Credit starting with the 2010 tax year. However, only a few credit unions have taken advantage of the program since its creation as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

What kinds of savings are available? One Northwest credit union received a check from the IRS for almost $7,000 for the 2011 tax year.

“Almost $7,000 from the IRS for filling out form 8941,” said Mark Freels, president and CEO of Teamsters Council #37 Federal Credit Union. “That’s easy money in my book.”

Or, as Debie Keesee, President and CEO of Spokane Media Federal Credit Union stated, “Credit unions only have to do a few parts of the 990T and fill out Form 8941, neither form is complex and only take a little time. We received $1,100 back from the IRS for less than 45 minutes of time to fill out the forms. Everyone would consider that well worth the time investment.”

The tax credit is available only to smaller credit unions, and credit unions must meet certain requirements to qualify, including:

  1. The credit union must pay premiums for employee health insurance coverage under a qualified plan. (Is there a link to a listing of qualified plans? Worth adding in?)
  2. The credit union must have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees for the tax year.
  3. The credit union must pay an average of less than $50,000 per FTE.

The current maximum credit of 35 percent of insurance premiums paid will go to credit unions with 10 or fewer FTE and average annual wages of $25,000 or less. The calculation for the tax credit phases out as the credit unions’ FTE count and average salary increase.

“Based on head counts, over 100 Northwest credit unions may qualify for this tax credit,” said Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) Director of Compliance Services David Curtis. “And receiving a tax credit could go a long ways when you have limited resources.”

Credit unions unsure of eligibility should seek detailed information from their accountants or tax advisors. Credit unions wishing to learn more about this credit should check out the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit: Detailed Analysis that is available in the Tax Issues Channel of InfoSight.  The InfoSight page contains some background on the credit, an easy formula to determine if your credit union is eligible, and links to the various IRS forms.

Both state and federal credit unions may receive the refundable tax credit, which could mean the IRS sends the credit union a check in the mail. To file a claim for the credit, credit unions must complete the IRS Form 8941 and fill out the revised IRS Form 990-T.

In addition, more information is available from the IRS regarding the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for Small Employers.

Compliance Question of the Week

I heard that the CFPB’s suspension on credit card agreement submissions has expired. Do we need to start submitting our credit card agreements again?

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation Z (12 CFR 1026) require credit card issuers to submit their currently-offered credit card agreements to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau), to be posted on the Bureau’s website. In April 2015, the Bureau suspended that submission obligation for a period of one year.

That suspension has expired, and the next submission is due from issuers on May 2, 2016. This document specifies how to submit your credit card agreements. Please follow these instructions.

You may also consult the relevant Bureau regulation, which is 12 C.F.R. 1026.58(c). You can access an unofficial version of that rule via our “eRegulations” webpage at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/eregulations/.

What do I submit?

You must make sure you have submitted to the Bureau all of the agreements that you offered to the public as of the end of March 2016.

You can do this by emailing us links to (or webpage addresses for) the consumer credit card agreements that you post on your public website. Current regulations require you to post on your public website a complete set of the consumer credit card agreements that you offer to consumers. (1026.58(d).) The agreements you have to post on your public website are the same as those you need to submit to the Bureau. As a result, sending us the relevant links or webpage addresses is the easiest and most straightforward way to meet your submission requirement.

Include in your email the name and address of the issuer that offers the product, plus a unique identifying number for the issuer such as a DUNS or RSSD number.  Sending us that identifying information plus links or webpage addresses to your properly posted agreements is sufficient to meet all your submission obligations under 1026.58(c). No other information is required. (Comment 58 (c)(1)-3.)

Although the Bureau believes that issuers will generally find that emailing agreement links or webpage addresses to the Bureau is the fastest and simplest way to submit the required agreements, you may also comply by emailing us pdf copies of all the agreements you offered to the public as of the end of March 2016.  Alternatively, you may email us the agreements and information identified in 1026.58(c)(1)(ii), (iii), and (iv). Whatever submission method you choose, remember to include your identifying information.

Do not encrypt or password-protect your email submission. The information you are submitting is already public.

Where do I submit?

Send your submission to CardAgreements@consumerfinance.gov. We will email you a confirmation of receipt within 2 business days.

When do I submit?

Your submitting email is due on or before May 2, 2016.

For planning purposes, please note that the quarterly submission dates for the remainder of the year will be August 1 and October 31. The August 1 deadline applies to agreements offered to new customers on June 30. The October 31 deadline applies to agreements offered to new customers on September 30.

Other questions?

What if some of my private label agreements are not posted on my own website but only on the website of my merchant partner?

If you have some agreements for which you comply with 1026.58(d)(1) by posting the agreement only on the merchant partner’s website, then your email should include links or webpages for the agreements on the merchant’s website.

What if I revise the list of agreements on my website after the end of March 2016 but before I send my submitting email to the Bureau?

Do not send links or webpage addresses that are inoperable at the point that you send them.  Instead, you can send in links or webpages after the end of March but before you make your revisions OR you can attach to your email pdf copies of the agreements as they were prior to those revisions.

What if the posted agreements or my identifying information change after I send my submitting email to the Bureau?

Regulation Z requires submissions to be made on a quarterly basis.  Therefore, you will be required to include these changes in your next submission. For example, if this information changes in June 2016, you will be required to include the updated information in the submission due on August 1, 2016.

The Bureau used to send me a submitting spreadsheet, on which I had to report whether older agreements had been revised, or dropped, or were still in force. Are you still using that spreadsheet?

No. We have dropped the use of that spreadsheet in favor of the more streamlined submission method of sending links or webpage addresses.

Will you still send reminder notices to submit my agreements in the future?

Yes, we plan to do so for the time being. If the email address to send your reminder notice changes, please email us at CardAgreements@consumerfinance.gov.

Will these instructions change in the future?

We place to update them to reflect new submission dates for future quarters.

I still have questions.

Please email Sietse.Goffard@consumerfinance.gov.

Resources

12 CFR 1026.58

Legal Briefs

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)

The NCUA released its latest video in its Economic Update series.  The most recent Economic Update states that the outlook is good news for credit unions, suggesting solid loan growth and low credit risk.

The NCUA announced that updated information regarding the Corporation Resolution Program and the performance of the Guaranteed Notes Program is now available.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

The CFPB released its monthly complaint snapshot which examines debt collection complaints.

The CFPB recently updated some of the compliance guides for the mortgage lending rules. Some of the updates include the compliance guides for the ATR/QM rule, HOEPA rule, HPML Escrow Rule, and the small creditor QM flowchart.

The CFPB announced the resumption of the credit card quarterly submission for creditors. The submissions may be sent to CardAgreements@consumerfinance.gov and are due on or before May 2, 2016.

Federal Reserve Board (FRB)

FRB Chair Yellen delivered a prepared speech at the Economic Club of New York. During the speech, Yellen outlined why only gradual increases in the federal funds rate will be warranted in the coming years and the Federal Open Market Committee’s baseline economic outlook.

The FRB announced the selection of a new partner, McKinsey & Company, to support its Faster Payments Task Force efforts to assess faster payment solution proposals from various providers across the payments industry.

The FRB released its fifth report in a series of reports on mobile banking titled “Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2016.” The report details consumer use of mobile phones for banking and other financial activities.

The FRB has released its 2016 Report to the Congress on the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, as required per Dodd-Frank.

The FRB announced its finalization of a rule that allows certain U.S. general obligation state and municipal securities in the range of assets large banking organizations may use to satisfy regulatory requirements, subject to the LCR (liquidity coverage ratio) requirement.

Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)

The FHFA released its February index which showed that mortgage rates decreased from January to February on conventional purchase-money mortgages. However, the index also shows that the average loan amount increased from January to February.  

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

FinCEN announced a proposed rule to amend the definition of broker-dealer in securities to include funding portals. Comments on the proposed rule are due June 3, 2016.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

OFAC has updated the SDN list as of March 31, 2016. The last update prior to this was March 24, 2016.

Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465, compliance@nwcua.org.

Posted in Compliance, Federal, NCUA.