Monday, December 20, 2010

From the newsgroups: Tracking COBRA in Microsoft Dynamics GP Payroll (US only)

This week's answer comes courtesy of Microsoft's Aaron Richards over at the Partner Online Technical Community, but first the question -- no names given to protect the innocent :-)

We are using Dynamics GP2010. How do we track COBRA in Payroll. We are not using HR.

Specifically, we are trying to track what the government reimbureses us. For example, we're trying to track 70% that we pay to the insurer on the 941 that we send to the government which eventually reimburses back from the government that we had paid.

Please advise or point me to a reference for utilizing this.
As stated by the partner, the customer is not using the HR module which has full COBRA tracking capabilities. Here is what Aaron had to say:

Thank you for using Microsoft Online Communities. My name is Aaron and I will be assisting you with your questions today. This information was released when we started tracking COBRA in the hotfix pdf.

It stated the following:

Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) changes

The recently-passed economic stimulus legislation (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) establishes an employer-provided 65% COBRA premium subsidy for certain workers who lost their jobs between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009. The employer is reimbursed for the subsidy by claiming a credit on quarterly federal tax returns (Form 941). For details of the Act’s provisions relating to COBRA, see http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204505,00.html at the IRS site, and http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRA.html at the Department of Labor site. The March 2009 Round 4 U.S. Payroll Tax Update contains the following Payroll and Human Resources changes to support the COBRA premium subsidy.

The Payroll Setup window contains new fields that allow you to select and display a COBRA subsidy benefit code.

The Cobra Premiums and Payments window in Human Resources contains a new field that allows you to indicate whether a payment is an employer-paid COBRA Premium Subsidy. If it is, you can enter or select a Batch ID for the payment (the batch lookup will display only manual check batches). These fields will be accessible only if you have assigned a COBRA subsidy benefit code in the Payroll Setup window.

The Quarterly 941 Preparation report and the Form 941 report have been changed to display COBRA subsidy information. Line 12a shows the total of the posted COBRA subsidy benefits for all employees during the associated quarter. Line 12b shows the number of employees receiving COBRA subsidy benefits during the associated quarter. The changes are included on both single-company and cross-company quarterly 941 reports.

Additionally, lines Line 7d through 7g are removed from Form 941, and Line 7h (Total Adjustments) becomes Line 7d. The form layout is changed to reflect the new field positions.

The Act specifies that employers must notify certain current and former participants and beneficiaries about the premium reduction. The U.S. Department of Labor has posted links to four model notices at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRAmodelnotice.html. You will need to decide which notification to use. A link to the Department of Labor Web site has been added to the Human Resources COBRA Recipients Lists window. There are no changes to the COBRA notifications generated by Human Resources.

March 2009 Round 4 U.S. Payroll Tax Update – 4

Setting up the COBRA subsidy
1. In the Benefit Setup window, create a new benefit code to track the employer COBRA subsidy.

2. In the Payroll Posting Accounts Setup window, assign General Ledger account codes for the employer subsidy payment (Benefit Expense and Benefit Payable).

If you do not want to post the amount to General Ledger, you can use the same account for both codes.

3. In the Payroll Setup window, assign the new benefit code as the COBRA subsidy benefit.

4. For any employees electing to receive COBRA benefits and eligible for the 65% subsidy, assign the new benefit code to the employee, using the Employee Benefit Maintenance window. Mark the Transaction Required option.

5. Inactivate the employee pay records, as well as all other deduction, benefit, and tax records for the employee.

6. Keep the employee record as well as the new COBRA benefit active.

Processing a COBRA subsidy if you are using only Payroll

1. In the Payroll Manual Check-Adjustment Entry window, enter an adjustment transaction for the employee.

2. In the Payroll Manual Check Transaction Entry window, specify the COBRA benefit code and the amount of the subsidy.

3. Post the adjustment transaction, which updates the benefit code.
4. At quarter end, print the Quarter End 941 report, which includes the COBRA subsidy amount.
I hope this in-depth review helps with your COBRA strikes.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC
http://www.maximumglobalbusiness.com/

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