HSA Inflation Adjustments for 2018 Released

In May 2017, the IRS released the 2018 inflation-adjusted amounts for health savings accounts (HSAs) under Internal Revenue Code § 223. For calendar year 2018, the annual limit on deductible contributions under § 223(b)(2)(A) for an individual with self-only coverage under a high-deductible health plan increases from $3,400 to $3,450 ($6,900 for an individual with family coverage).

Per IRC § 223(c)(2)(A), a high-deductible health plan is a health plan with an annual deductible that is not less than $1,350 for self-only coverage or $2,700 for family coverage, and the annual out-of-pocket expense limits (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) do not exceed $6,650 for self-only coverage or $13,300 for family coverage.

Read the IRS Rev. Proc. 2017-37

President Signs E.O. Addressing Cybersecurity

On May 11, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled, “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure”. The five sections of the order address the following:

  • Cybersecurity of federal networks, policy, and risk management.
  • Cybersecurity of critical infrastructure and the development of support to critical infrastructure at the greatest risk of attacks that could reasonably result in catastrophic regional or nation effects on public health or safety, economic security, or national security; supporting transparency in the marketplace; resilience against botnets and other automated, distributed threats; and, U.S. Department of Defense warfighting capabilities and industrial base.
  • Cybersecurity for the nation, policy, deterrence and protections, international cooperation, workforce development.
  • Definitions applicable to the order.

Generally, the purpose of the order is to adopt an approach to cybersecurity based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework for improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity. The order also requires the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consulting with other agencies, to provide the president with a report within 120 days that assesses ongoing efforts to train and educate the cybersecurity workforce of the future, including cybersecurity-related education curricula, training, and apprenticeship programs. This report must also include findings and recommendations that support the growth and sustainment of the Nation’s cybersecurity workforce in both the public and private sectors.

Read the Executive Order and the NIST Framework

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

On May 3, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it completed data entry of all fiscal year 2018 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in its computer-generated random process and is returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. However, due to the high volume of filings, the USCIS is unable to provide a definite time frame for returning the unselected petitions. Subsequently, the USCIS requested that petitioners not inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they either receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. The USCIS will issue an announcement once all the unselected petitions have been returned.

Additionally, the USCIS is transferring some Form I-129 H-1B cap-subject petitions from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center to balance the distribution of cap cases. Petitioners with transferred cases will receive notification in the mail of the transfer and thereafter are to send all future correspondence to the center processing the petition.

As previously announced on March 3, 2017, the USCIS temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions for up to six months, including cap-subject petitions. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. While premium processing is suspended, the USCIS will reject any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition.

Read the Press Release

IRS Updates to Premium Tax Credit and Required Contribution Percentage Plan

The IRS updated the applicable percentage table used to calculate an individual’s premium tax credit and required contribution percentage for plan years beginning after 2017. The percentage is used to determine both the following:

  • Whether an individual is eligible for affordable employer-sponsored minimum essential coverage.
  • Whether an individual is eligible for an exemption from the individual shared responsibility payment because of a lack of affordable minimum essential coverage.

For plan years beginning in 2018, the required contribution percentage under IRC § 36B is 9.56 percent. For plan years beginning in 2018, the required contribution percentage under IRC § 5000A is 8.05 percent.

Read Rev. Proc. 2017-36

WIOA Restrictions to Section 14(c) Program Webinar

In April 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division hosted a free webinar for § 14(c) certificate holders about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) restrictions on the payment of a subminimum wage under the § 14(c) program. The webinar reviewed the WIOA requirements for certificate holders, the division’s enforcement authority and implementation, and brief highlights of the recently revised certificate application forms (WH-226 and WH-226A).

View the Webinar slides