Sep 19

Affordable Care Act – Employee Notification

It is difficult to determine exactly what our government is doing with regard to required health insurance and what is required of businesses. The Department of Labor’s website provides information on your current requirements as an employer.

In the FAQ section at the Department of Labor website  detail is provided about the content of the required notice. There are also links to model notices (click below):

Model Notice for Employers Offering Health Plans

Model Notice for Employers Not Offering Health Plans

Notification to your employees is required by October 1st, 2013. The FAQ at the Department of Labor’s website indicates an employer cannot be fined for failing to provide the specified employee notification.

It is interesting to consider the political wrangling going on now regarding the providing of mandated health insurance. Funding is being challenged and the primary provisions for employers have been delayed a year. Stay tuned…..

Aug 31

Bank ACH Transfers – They Could Be Trouble

Are you familiar with the ACH (automated clearing house) rules that apply to your bank accounts? ACH is the primary electronic funds transfer (EFT) system used by banks for personal and business transfers. Your account may be open to ACH transfers and you do not even know you are at risk for loss.

There was a recent theft using the ACH system involving a Leavenworth hospital that I would encourage you to read about. The headlines were:

“Cybertheft Heists $1 Million from Leavenworth Hospital”

Cyber thieves apparently stole nearly $1 million from a bank account of the Cascade Medical Center transferring the funds by ACH transfer to nearly 100 bank accounts. Some of the funds have been retrieved but there will be a significant loss.

Read more on this theft as reported in the Wenatchee World.

You must generally notify your bank of incorrect ACH transfers on your business account within 24 hours. Miss this notification period and you may not be able to recover your funds.

We suggest you review this matter with your bank and review your accounts on a regular basis. You may wish to put an ACH stop on certain bank accounts.

The rules are different for personal bank accounts but you should also have an understanding of how these rules apply to your personal bank accounts. If you do not understand the rules you run the risk of being ripped-off with no way to recover your cash!



Apr 24

What in the World? Bank Accounts Seized in Greece?

Our tax season has ended temporarily and what a difficult tax season it was for most in our profession. We will provide some additional information on the complexity encountered and detail on continuing problems in a future blog post. There is a current story developing that is timely, hard to imagine, and rather scary.

It appears that the Cyprus banking system is in the process of seizing the savings accounts of those with funds over 100,000 pounds at the island’s biggest bank. In return, for the savings that is taken, depositors will receive stock in that bank worth 37.5% of the cash value taken.

The funds are evidently being seized as a condition of bailout from the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

This was mentioned in an article in Barrons and also the subject of a recent story featured in the publication “The Independent”.

This is scary stuff and makes one wonder about the safety of their savings deposits. Greece has faced significant monetary and economic problems but many other countries face similar problems to varying degrees. What are the chances of this happening elsewhere?