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CATA meets with IDES over reporting fines

August 29, 2014
Upon learning that about a half-dozen area dealers had been penalized by the Illinois Department of Employment Security for failing to file monthly contribution and wage reports, staff of the CATA met Aug. 26 with officials of the state agency.
A 2012 Illinois law calls for businesses with 25 or more employees to file monthly and quarterly reports; the penalized dealerships said they had not been informed of the requirement. Businesses previously were called to submit the reports quarterly.
Statutory language penned by the Illinois General Assembly provides no wiggle room for the IDES to waive or reduce penalties incurred under the new requirement, the department officials said. One north suburban dealership was assessed more than $10,000 in fines.
Kevin Denny, the IDES manager of employer problem resolution, said he hopes the state reconsiders the penalties it has meted out.
"There is hope. The specifics and the details are still coming," Denny said. Any penalty forgiveness likely would be in the form of credit to accounts, not refunds.
Bennett Krause, the department’s director of employer and community outreach, said that the IDES should not be viewed only as a punitive agency, and he noted tax credits that the IDES awards to companies which hire disabled veterans, food stamp recipients, people who have been incarcerated, and others.
Krause said the IDES would give a presentation at the CATA to highlight the various tax credits available to businesses.
Krause also encouraged all companies to sign up to receive IDES newsletters, to keep abreast of reporting changes and notices about candidates for employment. Register email addresses at the IDES website,    
The monthly wage reporting requirement was phased in since 2012 based on the number of workers at a business: 250 or more, January 2013; 100-249, July 2013; 50-99, January 2014; 25-49, July 2014.
A Chicago dealer said his workforce never exceeds 47 employees on a given day, so he expected to begin monthly reporting during the final phase-in period. But the IDES considers the total number of people who work at a business during a reporting period. Because the dealer replaced three workers who had departed, his obligation actually began in January 2014, and he was hit with $800 in fines.
The monthly reporting law, referred to as the Save Medicaid Access and Resources Together (SMART) Act, was designed to root out waste, fraud and abuse in the state’s Medicaid program.