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Effective Immediately - Employers With Cafeteria Plans Can Allow Employees To Make Pre-tax Contributions for Adult Children

Tax

By Kathleen Petrucci

Effective Immediately – Employers With Cafeteria Plans Can Allow Employees To Make Pre-tax Contributions for Adult Children

According to an IRS news release, as a result of changes made by the recently enacted Affordable Care Act, health coverage provided for an employee's children under 27 years of age is now generally tax-free to the employee, effective March 30, 2010. 

The Internal Revenue Service announced April 27th that these changes immediately allow employers with cafeteria plans –– plans that allow employees to choose from a menu of tax-free benefit options and cash or taxable benefits –– to permit employees to begin making pre-tax contributions to pay for this expanded benefit. 

Employees who have children who will not have reached age 27 by the end of the year are eligible for the new tax benefit from March 30, 2010, forward, if the children are already covered under the employer’s plan or are added to the employer’s plan at any time. For this purpose, a child includes a son, daughter, stepchild, adopted child or eligible foster child. This new age 27 standard replaces the lower age limits that applied under prior tax law, as well as the requirement that a child generally qualify as a dependent for tax purposes. 

The notice says that employers with cafeteria plans may permit employees to immediately make pre-tax salary reduction contributions to provide coverage for children under age 27, even if the cafeteria plan has not yet been amended to cover these individuals. Plan sponsors then have until the end of 2010 to amend their cafeteria plan language to incorporate this change. 

Information obtained from the IRS’s website.

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