“The COBRA Premium Assistance Payroll Credit” by Frank C. Carnahan
The IRS unveiled new information on the use of the COBRA Premium Assistance Payroll Credit to offset quarterly
employment tax liabilities on its web site, including an extensive set of questions and answers for employers, a revised version of the quarterly payroll tax return for employers to use to claim credit for the COBRA medical premiums they pay for their former employees.
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204708,00.html. The IRS will issue a refund if the COBRA credit exceeds payroll tax liabilities, after offsetting any unpaid payroll tax liabilities. Employers will be notified of any offset. COBRA premium assistance is only available to individuals involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. The Department of Labor web site describes involuntary termination as “being told not to come back to work until further notice”, and the IRS web site indicates “an employer-initiated layoff is generally an involuntary termination of employment for eligibility for COBRA premium subsidy.” The Department of Labor web site also has information at: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/cobra.html.