MA Department of Revenue Tax Grab

In December 2013, a new $5 surcharge was added to the fine for civil motor vehicle infractions (CMVIs) that are from Chapters 89 and 90 of the Massachusetts General Laws. CMVIs are violations that are non-criminal, such as speeding or not obeying traffic signs.

Included below is a list of the moving violations under Chapters 89 and 90 that are surchargeable under merit rating and will also be impacted by this surcharge:

Major Traffic Violations
OUI while license suspended for OUI M.G.L. c. 90, s. 23
Child endangerment while OUI M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24V
Permit unlicensed suspended operation of MV M.G.L. c. 90, s. 12(b)
Permit operation without ignition interlock M.G.L. c. 90, s. 12(c)
Operate without ignition interlock M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24S(a)
Tamper with ignition interlock M.G.L. c 90, s. 24T(a)
Bypass ignition interlock for another M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24U(a)(1)

Minor Traffic Violations
Accident, hit and run M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24
Allowing vehicle to stand unattended, motor running M.G.L. c. 90, s. 13
Anything on or in vehicle or on person interferes with operation M.G.L. c. 90, s. 13
Attempting a speed record M.G.L. c. 90, s. 13
Blind pedestrians, must stop for M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14A
Brakes, operating without M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7
Crosswalk, motor vehicle not to enter if his car will block it M.G.L. c. 89, s. 11 Crosswalk, operator yield to pedestrian M.G. L. c. 89, s. 11Directional signals, devices required M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7
Directional signals, hand or mechanical required for lane change M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14B
Drag racing, speeding M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17B
Driving in “breakdown lane” M.G.L. c. 89, s. 4B
Driving within eight feet of street car stopped for passengers M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Emergency vehicles, right of way M.G.L. c. 89, s. 7
Exhibit another license M.G.L. c. 90, s. 23
Failure to ascertain if it is safe to change lanes M.G.L. c. 89, s. 4A
Failure to keep to the right when turning right M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Failure to keep to the far left when turning on a one/two way street M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Failure to fasten a trailer to a tow vehicle with proper safety chains M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7
Failure to give proper stopping or turning signals M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Failure to keep in right lane M.G.L. c. 89, s. 4B
Failure to keep to right when view is obstructed up to 400 feet M.G.L. c. 89, s. 4
Failure to stop at sign or signal at intersection M.G.L. c. 89, s. 9
Failure to use child restraint M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7AA
Fire apparatus, driving within 300 feet if going to a fire M.G.L. c. 89, s. 7A
Fire apparatus, failing to pull to right and stop M.G.L. c. 89, s. 7A
Fire Department, interfering with M.G.L. c. 89, s. 7A
Flashing red traffic signal, failure to stop M.G.L. c. 89, s. 9
Hand signals, failure to give M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14B
Headlights, dimming from high beam M.G.L. c. 90, s. 31
Headlights, one half hour after sunset M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7
Headphones, wearing while operating M.G.L. c. 90, s. 13
Height, operating vehicle when elevated or lowered M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7P
Hit and run, person injured M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24
Hit and run, property damage M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24
Horn, operating without M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7
Ignition key, remove from unattended vehicle M.G.L. c. 90, s. 13
Improper passing M.G.L. c. 89, s. 1
Inspection sticker, failure to display M.G.L. c. 90, s. 20
Inspection sticker, operating without M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7A and M.G.L. c. 90, s. 20
Intersecting way, slow down when approaching M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Junior operator’s license, operating in violation of M.G.L. c. 90, s. 8
Learner’s permit, motorcycle, violation of M.G.L. c. 90, s. 8B
Learner’s permit, operating in violation of M.G.L. c. 90, s. 8B
License, Class 1-2-3 M.G.L. c. 90, s. 8A
License, operating when not properly licensed M.G.L. c. 90, s. 10
License, violation of restriction M.G.L. c. 90, s. 8
Lights, operating motor vehicle with improper lights M.G.L. c. 90, s.s. 7 & 16
Making a turn from the wrong lane of traffic M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Making a right turn on a red light where prohibited M.G.L. c. 89, s. 8
Meeting other vehicles, exercise due care when M.G.L. c. 89, s. 1
Mirrors and reflectors, operating without proper M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7
Motorcycle, operating without proper equipment, lights and headgear M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7
Motorcycle, no more than two abreast M.G.L. c. 89, s. 4A
Motorcycle, no passenger unless machine so designed M.G.L. c. 90, s. 13
Motorcycle, single file when passing M.G.L. c. 89, s. 4A
Negligently operating M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24
Not reasonably to right for vehicle approaching from the opposite direction M.G.L. c. 89, s. 1
Noise, offensive, unreasonable (squealing tires) M.G.L. c. 90, s. 16
Not slowing and keeping right of center on approaching intersection or corner where view is obstructed M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Not yielding to oncoming vehicles when making a left turn M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Obstructing emergency vehicle M.G.L. c. 89, s. 7
One way street M.G.L. c. 89, s. 10
One way street, left turn from M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Operating after suspension or revocation of registration M.G.L. c. 90, s. 23
Operating on a bet or wager M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24
Operating car not properly registered M.G.L. c. 90, s. 9
Operating in violation of license restrictions M.G.L. c. 90, s. 8
Operating at speed greater than reasonable or proper M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17
Operating, motorcycle without permanent seat M.G.L. c. 90, s. 13
Operating motor vehicle without liability policy M.G.L. c. 90, s. 34J
Operating, no driving on sidewalks M.G.L. c. 89, s. 1
Operating, obey traffic signs, signals, markings M.G.L. c. 90, s. 18
Operating on ways divided into lanes M.G.L. c. 89, s. 4A
Operating through peekhole in snow on windshield M.G.L. c. 90, s. 13
Operating unregistered car M.G.L. c. 90, s. 9
Operating without proper mirrors and reflectors M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7
Operator not to obstruct passing vehicle M.G.L. c. 89, s. 2
Parking lights M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7
Passing vehicle stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk M.G.L. c. 89, s. 1
Passing bicycles, slow down M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Passing, commercial vehicles, excess 21/2 tons (except busses) use right lane pass in adjacent lane M.G.L. c. 89, s. 4C
Passing, don’t obstruct passer M.G.L. c. 89, s. 2
Passing horses, use care M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Passing on right, unless vehicle being passed is (a) making a left turn, (b) on one way street, (c) on a divided highway c. 89, s. 2
Passing school bus when flashers are on M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Passing vehicle forbidden if view is obstructed for less than 400 feet M.G.L. c. 89, s. 4
Pedestrian, must slow down for M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Permitting operation by a person who has no legal right M.G.L. c. 90, s. 12
Racing M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24
Railroad crossing, failure to slow down M.G.L. c. 90, s. 15
Railroad crossing, failure to stop while lights are flashing or gate lowered M.G.L. c. 90, s. 15
Rear lights, must have M.G.L. c. 85, s. 15
Rear lights, operating without M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7
Red flag or light, rear of load M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7
Red flashing signal, stop M.G.L. c. 89, s. 9
Right of way, fire engines, patrol wagons, ambulances M.G.L. c. 89, s. 7
Right of way, pedestrian in a crosswalk M.G.L. c. 89, s. 11
Safety glass, operating or permitting operation without M.G.L. c. 90, s. 9A
School bus, drivers responsibilities M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7B
School bus, railroad crossing, must stop and open door M.G.L. c. 90, s. 15
School bus, speed limited M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17
School zone, speed limit M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17
Siren law M.G.L. c. 90, s. 16
Slow down to pass pedestrian M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Slow moving vehicles, keep right on upgrade M.G.L. c. 89, s. 4
Speed at railroad crossings M.G.L. c. 90, s. 15
Speed, bridges M.G.L. c. 85, s. 20
Speed, certain vehicles to operate five m.p.h. below speed posted M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17
Speed, decrease for special hazards (pedestrians, traffic, weather) M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17
Speed, failure to regulate when men and equipment are on road M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17
Speed, faster than posted M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17 and M.G.L. c. 90, s. 18
Speed, greater than reasonable and proper M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17
Speed limit 15 m.p.h. near vehicle peddling merchandise, when flashing lights M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17
Speed limits, thickly settled district, school zone M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17
Speed, special regulations M.G.L. c. 90, s. 18
Speed, school bus M.G.L. c. 90, s. 17
Stolen car, operating M.G.L. c. 90, s. 24
Stop before passing school bus M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Stop signs M.G.L. c. 89, s. 9
Street car, care in passing M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Street car, eight foot stopping law M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Television in operator’s view M.G.L. c. 90, s. 13
Throughways, right of way M.G.L. c. 89, s. 9
Tires too wide M.G.L. c. 90, s. 19
Traffic signals, flashing red is same as stop sign M.G.L. c. 89, s. 9
Tread depth, tires M.G.L. c. 90, s. 7Q
Turning improperly M.G.L. c. 90, s. 14
Unattended vehicle, stop engine, set brakes, remove key from switch and from vehicle M.G.L. c. 90, s. 13
Vehicles excluded area, operating or permitting one’s vehicle to be operated where posted M.G.L. c. 90, s. 16

Let’s Talk Money Online

The November issue of our newsletter is now available for viewing here:

http://www.ltmonline.com/jerrysiver

Subjects include:

Estate Planning:

More than taxes

When you first developed your estate strategy, your primary goal may have been to mitigate taxes. But there’s more to an effective estate strategy than taxes alone. An updated strategy can help provide financial protection for you and your loved ones and management for your assets when you can’t or don’t want to manage them yourself.

General Interest:

Keep the happy in your holidays

Shopping during the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful. Sticking to a budget, looking for bargains and watching out for scams can help you save money and reduce stress.

Secrets of successful investors

To be financially successful, you need to invest money on a regular basis. We offer some tips to help you invest more.

Give yourself the gift of lower taxes

Even though the year is quickly coming to a close, you still have time to reduce your income-tax liability for 2013. We list some ways you may be able to lower your tax bill.

Keep or toss?

You finally cleaned out your filing cabinet and have a pile of old tax documents ready for the shredder. Not so fast. If the documents support items shown on your return and the period of limitations for that return hasn’t run out, the IRS requires that you keep them.

By the numbers: average monthly spending

In which month do you think Americans spend the most on average? Here’s a look at the highest and lowest months for spending according to a Gallup poll.

Insurance:

Talking term insurance

With various options to choose from, buying the right type of life insurance can seem like a daunting task. If you want an affordable option that provides coverage for a set period of time, term life insurance may be what you’re looking for.

Tips for year-end charitable giving

With the holiday season upon us, you may be thinking about sharing your good fortune with others by giving to charity. We offer some tips to help you maximize the tax benefits from your donations.

Retirement Planning:

Retirement hopes versus reality

Like most Americans, you probably hope you’ll have enough money to live on in retirement. But your hopes for your future may be very different than reality. There are several steps you can take to help make your retirement more secure.

Spousal IRA one-two punch

Investing for retirement can be hard for a stay-at-home spouse. But even when one spouse does not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, there is another investing option worth considering: a spousal individual retirement account.

Seniors:

Prioritize your protection

Are you one of those people who thinks only the elderly need long-term care protection? Think again. Anyone can suffer a disability that could require long-term care services. Taking the time now to assess your possible long-term care needs, along with your disability income and life insurance needs, can help ensure your family’s financial security is protected.

Small Business:

A year-end checkup for small businesses

An annual financial review can help keep your business healthy and growing. As part of your review, make sure your business has the insurance coverage it needs.

Put your plan on autopilot

Setting money aside for retirement is important. Unfortunately, not all your employees may think so. To raise your company retirement plan’s participation rate, you might want to consider introducing an automatic enrollment feature.

Standard:

Find out if you’re still in the zone

Have your investing goals changed over the past year? If they have, then now is a good time to review your investment strategy to determine whether it’s still appropriate for your other goals and time frame.

Womens:

Got money for retirement?

Women have a harder time accumulating money for retirement than men. Why? They tend to live longer, typically earn less and may take time out from the work force for caregiving. But don’t let those factors fool you into thinking you can’t have a financially secure future. We list some steps women can take to improve their finances in retirement.

IRS Issues Proposed Rule on the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for SHOP

On Aug. 26, 2013, the IRS issued proposed regulations addressing the small business health care tax credit in 2014 and beyond, which incorporate previously issued guidance from previous years. The IRS webpage dedicated to the tax credit has been updated, including revised Q&As.

 As background, the small business health care tax credit applies to certain small employers that offer health insurance coverage to their employees. The tax credit has been available since 2010, but some important changes occur starting in 2014:

  • · The maximum credit amount increases from 35 percent to 50 percent of premiums paid (from 25 percent to 35 percent for eligible small tax-exempt employers);
  • · The coverage must be offered through a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange (employers must contribute a uniform percentage of at least 50 percent of premiums);
  • · The credit can be claimed for only two consecutive years beginning on or after 2014, and cost-of living adjustments may be made to the average annual wage phase-out amounts.

 Here are some highlights of the proposed regulations:

 Eligible Small Employers

The tax credit is available only for eligible small employers, which are those with no more than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees whose average annual wages are less than $50,000, as adjusted for inflation starting in 2014. Controlled group rules apply to aggregate employers under common control.

Two-Consecutive-Year Limit

Starting in 2014, an employer may claim the credit for only two consecutive taxable years, starting with the first year for which the employer files a Form 8941 claiming the credit, even if the employer is only eligible to claim the credit for part of the first year. There is a transition rule for an employer with a noncalendar-year plan that allows the 2014 credit to be calculated for the entire 2014 taxable year so long asthe employer switches to SHOP coverage as of the first day of the plan year beginning in 2014. Years prior to 2014 for which the employer claimed the credit do not count in determining the two-year limit. The proposed regulations incorporate employment tax rules to prevent avoidance of the two-year limit through the use of successor entities.

Determining Employees Taken Into Account

All employees are generally taken into account when determining FTE employees and average annual wages, including part-time employees, former employees who terminate midyear, and employees who are not offered, or do not enroll in, health coverage. Certain individuals are excluded for purposes of the credit, including independent contractors, sole proprietors, partners in a partnership, more-than-2 percent shareholders in an S corporation, and more-than-5 percent owners of other businesses (and certain amily members of some owners). Seasonal workers are not counted for determining FTE employees and wages, but premiums paid on behalf of a seasonal worker are counted in determining the amount of the credit. The rules for determining FTEs are generally the same as those in earlier IRS notices—employers choose among counting actual hours or using an equivalency and divide all aggregated hours by the number of employees. The proposed regulations and the IRS Q&As provide detailed examples.

 Uniform Percentage Requirement

Employers must pay a “uniform percentage” of at least 50 percent of the premium for each employee enrolled in SHOP coverage. The proposed regulations explain the rules (with examples) for a variety of situations, including both list billing and composite billing arrangements for QHP premiums, offering tiers of coverage in addition to self-only coverage (such as self-plus-one or family coverage) and offering more than one QHP. Premiums paid through salary reductions or employer-provided flex credits under a cafeteria plan are not treated as employer-paid premiums for purposes of the tax credit. Amounts made available by an employer under an HRA or health FSA, or contributed by an employer to an HSA, are also not counted as employer-paid premiums.

Obamacare notices must be sent to employees by October 1

“Affordable Care Act” employer notices must be mailed to employees by Oct 1 but now DOL says no penalty if your company forgets (the penalty prior to this bulletin was $100 per day). See the bullitin here:

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-noticeofcoverageoptions.html?utm_source=FAQ+about+ACA+%231&utm_campaign=Delta+Renewals+8.28&utm_medium=email

Supreme Court Decision on DOMA & Retirement Plans

Transamerica, one of our retirement plan providers issued this narrative we’d like to pass on:

 

SUPREME COURT DECISION ON DOMA:

What does it mean for Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans?

Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) enacted in 1996 was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Under that section of DOMA, the term “marriage” is defined as the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.

The federal definitions of “spouse” and “marriage” under DOMA affect the availability of numerous retirement benefits and rights to same sex spouses under the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”). In the retirement plan area, same sex spouses have not been legally recognized as married because of DOMA. A few examples of these retirement plan provisions include:

• Survivor benefits in the form of a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity;

• Qualified Domestic Relations Orders;

• Application of benefit limitations under IRC Section 415;

• Spousal consent;

• Qualified Optional Survivor Annuity;

• Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity;

• Timing of death benefit payments and required distribution rules;

• Rollover rules as applicable to eligible rollover distributions;

• Beneficiary status; and

• Hardship withdrawal provisions.

While some plans may have chosen to extend certain retirement benefits to non-spouse beneficiaries (e.g., survivor annuities), under DOMA plans were not required to do so.

Transamerica Retirement Solutions will be reviewing the DOMA decision in the coming days to determine the implications for our employer-sponsored retirement plans now that federal law recognizes same sex marriages that are entered into pursuant to state law. Currently 12 states (Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington) plus the District of Columbia recognize same sex marriages. In light of the Supreme Court decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, this list will soon likely include California.

As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA, some immediate questions that employers will have include the following:

• Is the DOMA decision retroactive?

o Will employers be required to provide survivor benefits to same sex spouses for prior periods?

o Will plans be disqualified for not providing survivor benefits to same sex spouses in the past?

• How will plans be administered differently?

o How is a person’s marital status determined?

o Will plan administrators need to track the participant’s residence?

• What benefits would now be required to be provided to same sex spouses?

• What additional notices will be required to be given to same sex spouses?

• What are the implications for nonqualified plans?

• Will any forms such as beneficiary designation forms need to be revised?

• How will this decision impact non-ERISA plans?

• What changes, if any, will be needed to plan documents and Summary Plan Descriptions?