Tax Policy & Finance

New Unclaimed Property Audits Legislation

Most businesses have unclaimed property resulting from normal operations – any asset, tangible or intangible, belonging to a third party that remains unclaimed for a specified period of time. Businesses and government entities are required to report and remit to the Michigan Department of Treasury abandoned and unclaimed property belonging to owners whose last known address is in Michigan.

Michigan Periodic Garnishment Reform of 2015

On April 14, 2015, the Governor signed House Bill No. 4119 and 4120 making them Public Acts of 2015 Nos. 14 and 15. They will require extensive revisions to the current Michigan Court Rules governing garnishments found at MCR 3.101. The Supreme Court issued proposed rule changes, however, they did not recognize the majority of the statutory changes. Furthermore, the statutory changes require changes to the supreme court-approved garnishment forms. Comments to this effect have been submitted by the State Bar of Michigan and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

Compensation Back On the Front Burner?

During the so called “Great Recession” most employers naturally and prudently acted cautiously regarding compensation decisions. One of the first areas to suffer was total compensation. Employers reduced or suspended salary increases and bonuses, and tried to hold the line on benefit costs. Continued low consumer goods inflation added to the incentive to freeze salaries as much as possible.

How an Unemployment Hearing is Conducted

The Administrative Law Judge sits at a desk, and the parties, their witnesses and representatives sit at a table usually set up in front of the Administrative Law Judge’s desk. The Administrative Law Judge will direct the parties and witnesses where to sit. The Administrative Law Judge begins by introducing him or herself by name, and makes sure he or she has the names of all the parties, witnesses, representatives, and attorneys. Hearings are tape recorded.

Employers Can Modify or Eliminate Union Retiree Health Benefits

In a significant win for employers, the United States Supreme Court recently invalidated a judicial inference that union retiree health insurance benefits are vested for life in the absence of specific language to the contrary. The Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, issued on January 26, 2015, gives employers more freedom to alter, reduce, or eliminate retiree insurance benefits for employees who were represented by a union before they retired.