We are here to be your advocate and help you find the information you need for your business to succeed. From PPP and COVID-19 to questions about how a PEO partnership can benefit our business, here are some resources with information that we hope is useful. If you have a question that isn’t covered here, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
At Ataraxis PEO, our goal is to help businesses succeed. We believe it is more important than ever before to be a resource for business owners who are trying to lead their company through this challenging year. Below are some answers to the many of the questions we have been asked by business owners since the pandemic began.
If you are planning to expand your business into another state or already have employees in multiple states, we are here to help you be more successful. We know it can be time consuming to stay on top of employment laws in your home state and overwhelming to keep track of the laws and regulations in multiple states.
At Ataraxis, we make sure your business is fully compliant with all employment laws and regulations. We provide a level of personal care and support that you won’t find with national PEOs.
If you don’t see the state you are looking for, give us a call to find out how quickly we will be where you need us.
Note: Blue indicates the states we currently operate in.
A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) provides human resources administration, payroll services, benefits administration, and worker’s compensation for their clients. Working with a PEO enables you to efficiently and cost-effectively manage your HR responsibilities so you can focus on growing your business.
Intense competition for top talent, expanded benefits packages, rising healthcare rates, and rigorous compliance requirements with federal, state and local employment laws have made Human Resources (HR) administration increasingly complicated, time consuming and costly. According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organization (NAPEO), utilizing PEO provides significant benefits for businesses including a 27.2% annual return on investment, a 10-14% lower employee turnover, and a 7-9% higher growth rate.
Any business, large or small, can find value in the services and expertise provided by a PEO. According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, PEOs provide services to 175,000 small and mid-sized businesses with an estimated 3.7 million co-employees.
At Ataraxis, we work with organizations and businesses in a wide range of industries such as technology, construction, manufacturing, cleaning services, retail, food services and healthcare. We partner with professionals and small business owners who are doctors, dentists, realtors, health and wellness providers, consultants, mechanics and janitors. Our goal is to help each client maximize the success of their business.
Our business clients enjoy the benefit of having experts handle all aspects of their HR responsibilities without the management, oversight and risk that comes with doing it themselves. As your PEO, we become a co-employer who shares the risks and responsibilities for your employees. You maintain the ownership for your employee’s job duties and day-to-day activities while we handle all the personnel-related functions.
We will not only help your company be more efficient, compliant, and cost effective with HR administration, we will strategically consult with your company leaders to help your business be more successful.
We will onboard your business within 7 days after signing an agreement. You won’t have to complete piles of paperwork or wait months to make the change. We make the process as easy and quick as possible for you. The Ataraxis team will take care of all the work so you can continue running your business without interruption.
Employee benefits are an important part of your total compensation package. The Ataraxis benefits team searches for the most competitive costs on the market and makes sure you have a comprehensive benefits programs to protect the health and welfare of your employees and their way of life. For small businesses who may have been unable to afford or manage a comprehensive benefits program on their own, we provide a stress-free, cost-effective solution that will help your business be more competitive in the employment market. We manage the entire process from annual enrollment to the daily questions you or your employees have throughout the year.
Unemployment laws and regulations for each state are different, and it can be overwhelming for business owners to stay on top of complicated and often evolving federal and local laws. At Ataraxis, we take ownership for understanding the employment laws and regulations where you have employees. We take our responsibility of due diligence very seriously and will always make sure your business is fully compliant.
While business clients are responsible for providing the funds to cover their payroll and payroll taxes, we will submit and report all payroll taxes including 940s, 941s, state, county and local tax calculations and fillings. We also take care of W2’s for your employees.
Yes! As your PEO partner, we understand how important it is to find the right person for your company. Our clients have the opportunity to subscribe to the innovative recruiting services of TalentFill, a division of Ataraxis. Whether you need to quickly hire temporary employees to manage a spike in business demand or have a long term need to outsource your recruiting department, the TalentFill team is here to assist you! Our proven process in recruiting, staffing augmentation and direct hire is a quick call away!
When a candidate is ready to join your company, we provide a personalized and complete employee onboarding experience. We carefully review the employee handbook, company policies and employment procedures with each new employee. We assist with benefits enrollment and complete all regulatory paperwork so your employees are ready to work and contribute to your company’s success.
Our time keeping system is integrated with our payroll process so all you need to do is review and approve employee hours can provide that information to you. Your employees record their hours in our Time Clock. Supervisors approve the hours in the time clock. There is no need to keep track of employee information manually. When you need data or reports, we have the information you need.
Unemployment claims can drive premiums, so it is essential to reduce and eliminate fraudulent unemployment claims. We carefully review and manage every detail of the unemployment claim to provide the best outcome for your company and help you lower your unemployment rate. We will advise you on what we believe the is the best approach on each claim, but you make the final decision as the business owner.
COBRA is part of the employee separation process that we manage for your company. We generate and send the necessary COBRA letter to your former employees.
There is a secure Employee Log in area on our website where they have access to their personal information, benefits, timeclock, etc.
Our clients have a secure Employer Log in where they have access to important information.
We are here for you and your employees. You will never have to deal with automated phone systems, chatbots or self-service portals. Simply call 208-906-2636 to speak with an Ataraxis team member who knows your business and employees.
Signed into law on December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriates Act (CAA) enhances and expands certain aspects of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including a number of extensions and modifications to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the new PPP provisions are designed to support small businesses, in particular, with $284 billion in additional PPP funding, an expanded list of qualified expenses, a streamlined forgiveness process, and targeted tax relief for loan recipients.
The CAA renewed PPP funding for both first- and second-time loan borrowers. Companies that did not borrow the full amount on the first-draw PPP loan for which they were eligible or returned part of their loan may request a modification to increase the loan amount to the maximum allowed. Small businesses that received the first-draw PPP loan have the option to apply for a “second-draw” loan.
Small businesses that received the first-draw PPP loan have the option to apply for a “second-draw” loan as long they are not a publicly traded company, don’t employ more than 300 people, and can show at least a 25% drop in gross receipts in a single quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019 or a 25% drop in gross receipts for the full year 2020 over full year 2019.
SBA will begin accepting applications on January 11th, 2021 for businesses that have not received any PPP money yet and only through community financial institutions which favors lending to smaller businesses. Applications for second-draw PPP loans began on January 13th, 2021. New PPP loans, including second-draw loans, can be taken out through March 31, 2021 or until the funding runs out.
First-draw loan application forms can be found here.
Second-draw loan application forms can be found here.
Before completing the loan application, contact your bank because they may have an online application. If you don’t have a bank that is doing PPP loans, please contact Ataraxis and we can assist you with getting a PPP loan through our banking partner.
The maximum amount for original PPP loans and second-draw loans is 2.5X the average monthly payroll costs in the year prior to the loan or the calendar year, up to a maximum amount of $2 million.
For a PPP loan to be forgiven, at least 60% of the money must be used for payroll expenses and the remainder on qualified non-payroll expenses. Under CAA, qualified payroll expenses now include group life, disability, vision and dental insurance. This change applies to both first-draw PPP loans that have not yet been forgiven and new second-draw loans.
In addition to business mortgage interest, business rent or lease, and business utility payments, CAA expanded qualified non-payroll business expenses to include:
Yes, CAA made the changes to the list of qualified expenses retroactive to the beginning of PPP launched under the CARES Act. This means businesses that have not yet applied for loan forgiveness will now be able to take advantage of the expanded list of allowable expenses that are retroactive to the beginning of PPP.
Expanding the list of qualified payroll and non-payroll expenses will make it easier for small businesses to meet the minimum requirements for receiving forgiveness on their PPP loans.
Under the CAA, borrowers have the flexibility to choose the start date and end date between 8 and 24-week covered period after the origination date of the loan. Prior to this, borrowers had to choose either an 8 week or 24 week covered period.
The CAA simplified the forgiveness application for any small business with a loan of $150,000 or less. For qualifying loans, the SBA will provide a one-page forgiveness application where borrowers are only required to state the number of employees retained because of the loan, the estimated total amount of the loan spent on payroll costs, and the total loan amount. The borrower must legally certify that the information provided on the application is true and accurate.
The CAA allows borrowers to deduct qualified expenses which were paid for with forgivable PPP funds from their taxes. This provision applies to both first- and second-draw PPP loans.
Retirement savings plans offer numerous benefits for you, your employees, and your business. One of the most popular savings plans is 401(k), an employer-sponsored retirement plan that enables individuals to invest now for financial security when they retire and provides significant tax advantages for you and your employees. Companies with 401(k) retirement plans not only have more competitive benefit packages to attract qualified employees, the vesting and employer matching options may help you retain the great employees you have hired.
A 401(k) plan is an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan that is designed specifically to help individuals save for retirement and provides special tax benefits for employers and employees. It enables employees to dedicate a percentage of their pre-tax salary to be invested in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds while reducing their gross income so they pay less in income taxes. Employers may also match the funds employees contribute, enhancing their employee’s investments while providing qualified tax deductions for the business. Depending on the details of the plan and the age of the individual, the money invested may be tax-free and can provide significant advantages by lowering taxable income. Individuals don’t pay taxes on either the contributions or investment growth until they retire and begin making withdrawals.
Cost is a significant reason why most small- and medium-sized employers are not able to offer 401(k) retirement plans for their employees. Individually, a small company may not be equipped to handle the administrative costs, complexity, fiduciary liability, and the sheer paperwork involved in many plans. Joining a Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) is a cost-effective way for employers to offer a retirement savings plan for their employees.
A Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) is a great solution for businesses who want to enjoy the same benefits as large companies without the cost or administrative burden of managing their own retirement savings plan. If you are looking for a flexible retirement plan for your employees that also makes sense for you as a business owner or HR director, we have a seasoned team of 401(k) experts ready to help. Visit MyMepConnection to learn more.
As a participating employer in the Ataraxis MEP, you will be able to cost effectively offer your employees a first-class 401(k) savings plan. Employers benefit from the economies of scale and purchasing power of the MEP and have access to excellent investment options. Employer contributions are tax-deductible and the assets in the plan grow tax-free. Adopting employers are also able to reduce their workload and business risk when they choose to participate in a MEP rather than sponsor their own plan.
We believe in the importance of transparency and do not have hidden fees such as fund revenue sharing or wrap fees. By sponsoring a MEP, we are able to offer an affordable 401(k) program for our clients. Our plan fees are regularly evaluated to make sure we are providing our participating employers with the best value possible. Review our Plan Summary for plan pricing and illustrations.
Employees who participate in the Ataraxis MEP have access to the same investment funds that large employers can offer. Employee contributions are easy to make through payroll deductions and can reduce their current taxable income. Interest accrues over time, which allows small, regular contributions to grow to significant retirement savings.
You will enjoy all the benefits of being part of a MEP while having the flexibility to design a plan to meet your company’s 401(k) plan goals. You can choose how quickly you want your employees to be eligible to participate in your plan, whether you want to have employer matching contributions, and the vesting schedule for when employees “own” the money you invest through matching contributions. Visit MyMepConnection to learn more.
Our retirement plan administrator, BlueStar, can have your company ready to go in ~45 days from the execution of an adoption agreement. For existing plans, mergers can be completed on average in 60-90 days. BlueStar will work with your prior provider to file all required documents demonstrating that your plan has merged into the Ataraxis Retirement Savings Plan.
You are welcome to contact Jed Reese at STRIVE Wealth about Ataraxis’ Retirement Savings Plan. As the investment manager for the Ataraxis plan, STRIVE Wealth monitors our investments, recommends investment changes, and provides regulatory services for our plan. They are also available to provide investment guidance for employees of adopting employers. For any other questions, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.