HCM Insights September 2021

HCM Insights September 2021

Upcoming Holiday

Columbus Day

Columbus DayThe upcoming Columbus Day Holiday falls on Monday, October 11, 2021.  While CBIZ HCM offices will be open this day, this is a Federal Reserve Bank Holiday, so payroll draft dates may need to be adjusted. 
As always, your CBIZ HCM team is here to help should you have questions. We appreciate your continued partnership, and we wish you and your business the best of health. Please contact your payroll services team if you have any questions.

Important Payroll Deadlines

Check Date

Check Processing Date

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Wednesday, October 13, 2021        

Friday, October 8, 2021

Click here to access the CBIZ 2021 Holiday Schedule


Updates: American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). ARPA is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package designed to speed up the United States' recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we approach the end of the third quarter, two relief packages enacted as part of ARPA will be ending. Below is a summary of each relief package, along with information about the coverage periods that will soon expire.

Sick Pay and Extended Family Leave


Paid Sick and Family Leave tax credits were introduced in the Consolidated Appropriations Act and extended by ARPA. These credits optionally allowed employers with fewer than 500 employees to be reimbursed for pandemic-related leave. As we approach the end of the third quarter, employers should note they will be allowed to receive a fourth-quarter tax credit for paying qualified sick/family leave wages as long as the coverage period is on or before September 30, 2021. 

Any qualified ARPA sick/family leave wages paid to employees that resulted in a tax credit for the employer will be reported on the employee’s W-2.

Click here for additional information from the IRS or check out the March issue of HCM Insights for more details on this and other ARPA provisions. (Future guidance forthcoming by the IRS regarding the box codes.)


COBRA Premium Subsidy


ARPA provided a COBRA continuation of coverage premium subsidy to Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs) from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. As the subsidy period ends on September 30, 2021, AEIs will no longer receive ARPA-related premium assistance. Employers were directed to report the subsidy on their 941 beginning with the second quarter of 2021. 

Should you need assistance concerning the applicable credits or the reporting requirement, feel free to contact your team at CBIZ HCM. If you are a current CBIZ COBRA client, you can reach out to your COBRA Service team for more information.

Read CBIZ's At Issue Special Edition COBRA Premium Subsidy under the American Rescue Plan for more information.


How to Repay Deferred Employer Social Security Taxes


To give employers a much-needed temporary financial boost, the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 allowed employers to defer payment of the employer's share of Social Security tax.

For participating employers, each quarter the IRS has sent Letter 3064C to remind employers of their balance due. Employers who deferred the employer portion of social security must pay at least half of the total deferred amount by December 31, 2021. The remaining portion will be due by December 31, 2022.*

Ways to make your deferral payment

  • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)
  • Credit card 
  • Debit card 
  • Money order 
  • Check

These deferred social security repayments must be paid separately from other payroll tax deposits or tax payments to ensure they are applied appropriately to the deferred payroll tax balance due. IRS systems are unable to recognize and apply the payment if it is submitted with other tax payments or sent as a deposit.

EFTPS is the preferred method and includes a deferral payment option. Employers should select deferral payment and then change the date to the applicable tax period for the payment.

*CBIZ does not track Social Security Tax repayment amounts on behalf of the employer. Employers should set up a reminder so that the repayment is made on time. If any portion of taxes deferred under CARES Act Section 2302 is not deposited by the applicable due date, the deferral of the deposit due date is invalidated for all of the employer’s deferred tax, not just the remaining delinquent portion. A Section 6656 penalty for failure to deposit taxes is applicable for the entire deferred amount. For example, if an employer defers a total of $50,000 for the 2020 tax period, and pays $25,000 on December 31, 2021, but fails to make any additional deposits or payments by December 31, 2022, the employer is liable for a penalty on the entire $50,000. These penalties can be substantial and will not be eligible for abatement.

For more information, visit EFTPS online.


State and Federal Tax Agency Processing Delays



In an effort to provide our clients with timely information and to help set proper expectations, we would like to share the following information with relation to the federal and state tax agencies.



The IRS has faced many challenges over the last eighteen months due to staffing shortages and technology shortcomings. Many employees are still working remotely, causing a backlog of mail at IRS facilities. In addition, the IRS is kicking out computer-generated notices based on a pre-programmed system.

The IRS’s historically high number of tax correspondence requiring manual review means that business tax clients will not receive timely reconciliation. Tax notices and employee retention credits seem to be the most problematic and are subject to longer delays.  Click here for up-to-date information regarding IRS processing delays.

State Agencies

Numerous state tax agencies are suffering many of the same difficulties faced by the IRS. There is a backlog of incomplete correspondence due to a reduced number of onsite-staffing and software vendors trying to keep up and incorporate last-minute changes.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to ensure all tax accounts are in compliance. Should you have a question or need to submit tax correspondence, contact us at [email protected]


IRS Sends Erroneous Penalty CP161 Notice


The IRS recently announced that it has mistakenly sent failure-to-deposit penalty notices to certain employers. Affected employers include those whose deposits were reduced on Form 941 in anticipation of claiming sick and family leave credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or the Employee Retention Credit under the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Securities Act.

While the IRS states that employers receiving these erroneous notices do not need to take action, we ask that you send any tax notices to the CBIZ tax department for review.

The IRS explained that the cause of the error relates to discrepancies between the liabilities reported on Schedule B of Form 941 and the actual amount of the deposits made. (The liabilities reported on Schedule B are not reduced to reflect the credits, so employers claiming the credits will generally report liabilities in excess of deposits.) The IRS is attempting to take steps to prevent such erroneous penalty notices, but a programming glitch appears to occur when the deposits are reduced by an amount in excess of the liability for the employer portion of social security for a particular pay date.

Please continue to send all tax notices to  [email protected]. For more information on the erroneous notices please visit IRS.gov.


Federal Student Loan Payments


On August 6, 2021, the United States Department of Education announced a final extension of relief for federal student loan borrowers in light of the COVID-19 emergency. Employers should suspend garnishments on federally held student loans through January 31, 2022.  This extension is due to the continued COVID-19 national emergency.

The extension is granted to loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education, including Direct Loans, as well as Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal Family Education Loan Program loans held by the Department of Education. Loans owned by commercial lenders or held by the institution a student attended are not eligible for this benefit at this time.

View the latest announcement from the US Department of Education.


Health Savings Accounts Save Employers & Employees


Did you know that Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) offer triple tax savings to your employees plus additional cost savings to your organization? Participants are allowed tax-free contributions to their HSA, tax-free growth on their HSA investment, and tax-free withdrawals from their HSA to pay for qualified health care expenses! 

In addition to lower employer taxes, we have found that many organizations that offer an HSA also experience a decrease in the cost of health insurance premiums because employees have to be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) to qualify to participate in an HSA. These HDHPs come with higher deductibles but lower monthly premiums, which means savings for the employer and the employee.

HSA Perks for Employers

  • Contributions to employees’ HSAs are tax-deductible.
  • Employees’ contributions reduce the company’s payroll taxes.
  • Savings on healthcare costs since HDHP coverage is more affordable.

HSA Perks for Employees

  • Contributions are tax-free
  • Money in the HSA earns tax-free interest 
  • Unused funds roll over to the next year
  • Withdrawals are tax-free when used on eligible expenses


Want to know more about HSA's?

Join us on October 15, 2021, as we celebrate National HSA Awareness Day.

SHRM Certified HSA Day Webinars

Introduction to Health Savings Accounts
Friday, October 15 - 11 a.m. (1 credit)

Helping Employees Get the Most From Their HSA
Friday, October 15 - 1 p.m. (1 credit)


 Visit the Insights Home Page


The information contained in this HCM Insights is not intended to be legal, accounting, or other professional advice, nor are these comments directed to specific situations. This information is provided as general guidance and may be affected by changes in law or regulation. This information is not intended to replace or substitute for accounting or other professional advice. You must consult your own attorney or tax advisor for assistance in specific situations. This information is provided as-is, with no warranties of any kind. CBIZ shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever in connection with its use and assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.