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February 2, 2009

Massachusetts Fair Share Filing - Streamlined

Fair Share Contribution Filing Requirement

The Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (“DUA”) is simplifying the fair share contribution filing requirement.

Massachusetts employers are obligated to make a fair share contribution to the health coverage of Massachusetts employees, or pay a fair share contribution. The fair share contribution methodology was changed in September, 2008 - with a January 1, 2009 effective date. (See Benefit Beat, 10-12-2008 – " Massachusetts Fair Share Requirement Relaxed?”).

The DUA has determined that most Massachusetts employers satisfy the fair share contribution requirement and, therefore, requiring a quarterly filing is overly burdensome. For the last quarter of 2008, all Massachusetts employers will continue to have to complete the quarterly filing which is due by February 15, 2009. Thereafter, if the employer satisfies the fair share contribution requirement, no filing will be required. If the employer fails, or is expected to fail the fair share contribution requirement, the employer will continue to have to make the quarterly filing. Beginning in 2010, if an employer fails the fair share contribution requirement, it would be obligated to submit a report reflecting that the fair share contribution had been satisfied in the previous year.

HIRD Filing Requirement

The DUA has also attempted to streamline the employer HIRD filing requirement.

Beginning in 2009, an employer HIRD report need only be filed if a fair share contribution report is required. When the employer files the fair share contribution report electronically, the system will link the employer to the employer HIRD report for completion.

Important Note – The employer continues to be obligated to comply with the collection of employee HIRD forms. (See Benefit Beat, 1-10-2009 – Massachusetts: 2009 Employee HIRD Forms”).

 

The information contained in this Benefit Beat is not intended to be legal, accounting, or other professional advice, nor are these comments directed to specific situations.

As required by U.S. Treasury rules, we inform you that, unless expressly stated otherwise, any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this Benefit Beat is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service.

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