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Important Regulatory and Legal Updates from Washington DC
PROPOSED Child Protection Improvement Act — Update
ACA’s background check bill that would finally close the loop hole in state laws that bar youth-serving organizations in thirty-seven states from having access to background checks from the FBI’s database was not passed in 2012. However, significant progress was made by securing bi-partisan support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate! (In 2011, the bill was passed by the House by an overwhelming 412-4 vote.) After reintroduction in the 113th Congress, we anticipate swift movement through both Houses. We will keep camps and other youth-serving organizations posted as to when to contact your legislators to ask for their support. Visit www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy/cbc for updates.
Health Insurance and Your Camp — Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Impact
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA) were signed into law in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Included in these new “health care reform” laws was a mandate on certain large employers to provide health insurance to their employees beginning in 2014 (or pay a penalty of $2,000 per employee). The law requires employers with fifty or more “full-time employees or full-time equivalents” to provide health insurance to employees that meet minimal coverage requirements. The calendar year of 2013 is important as it is the time that employers are required to track information about their employees, which will then be used to determine if they meet the requirement as a large employer. In preparation for this tracking, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has just released new proposed rules to help employers determine if they are included in the mandate (https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2012-31269.pdf). For camps with seasonal operations, the law excludes employers whose workforce exceeds fifty full-time employees for 120 days or fewer during a calendar year if the employees in excess of fifty who were employed during that period of no more than 120 days were seasonal workers. As each organization is different, it is important that you determine now if you will be required to meet the mandate. For additional information, visit (www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy/health-care-laws/health-insurance)
American Taxpayer Relief Act Impact on Small Business
When the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) was signed into law by President Obama on January 2, 2013 it included a number of extensions of small businesses tax incentives that could be utilized by camps. The tax incentives include:
- Section 179 Deduction. Permits small businesses to deduct the cost of certain new and used property placed in service for the year rather than depreciate those costs over time. The new law extends the maximum deduction to $500,000 for the 2012 and 2013 tax years for companies with under $2 million in qualifying capital expenditures.
- Bonus Depreciation. Enables small businesses to recover the costs of qualified new equipment faster than the ordinary schedule by permitting the depreciation of 50 percent of the cost in the first year. The provision was set to expire at the end of 2012, but has been extended through the end of 2013 (and 2014 for certain types of property).
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Extends through 2013 the tax credits for employers who hire military veterans or individuals from underserved communities that have faced barriers to employment.
For more information on how ATRA might impact your small business, visit the Small Business Administration at www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/small-business-tax-incentives-fiscal-cliff.
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act — Update
In December 2012, the Federal Trade Commission expanded the rules concerning the requirements for Web sites that are directed at children. While the majority of camp Web sites most likely are not included in the law, the new rules expand the definitions, so it is important that your camp assess applicability to your Web site. For the details, visit www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy/childrens-online-privacy-protection.
For more information on any federal regulatory or legislative issue impacting the camp community, visit www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy.
Contributed by Susan E. Yoder