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Senate's immigration bill blocked for a second time. The US Senate for a second time this year blocked passage of comprehensive bipartisan immigration legislation (S. 1639), failing to invoke cloture on its Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, and almost certainly ending any chances that Congress will act this year on immigration reform. Supporters of the bill needed 60 votes to bring debate to a close and move on to a final vote. The Senate voted 46 to 53 in favor of limiting debate, 14 votes short of the 60 required. The defeat is a setback for the bipartisan team of lawmakers, led by Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass), who worked for months to craft a bill that they hoped would draw enough support from both parties to pass. The defeat is also a major disappointment for President Bush, who with his Cabinet, played a key role in crafting the legislation. As it stood, the bill that was considered was nearly identical to the measure that failed to move forward three weeks ago. The vote prompted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) to pull the bill from the floor. Reid confirmed that the Senate will next turn to the 2008 defense budget.
The bill's collapse in the Senate make the fate of comprehensive immigration reform uncertain. National media outlets report that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal) would not consider immigration reform in the House of Representatives until the Senate passed its own legislation. In addition, she has been quoted as wanting the support of 50 to 70 House Republicans before she would even bring the immigration measure to a vote. On June 26, the House Republican Conference adopted a resolution expressing opposition to the Senate's immigration bill. Approved late June 26 by a vote of 114-21, the brief resolution read: "Resolved the House GOP Conference disapproves of the Senate immigration bill." Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich), the sponsor of the resolution, remarked, "The Republican Conference has always advocated for immigration reform, but the Senate bill is bad public policy that does not reflect our position. Republicans object that the Senate bill would provide amnesty for illegal aliens and does not focus adequately on enforcement." Following the vote on the Hoekstra resolution, Minority Leader John Boehner stated, "House Republicans have always been clear about our priorities. First thing first: We must secure our border and enforce our laws."
High Court's proposed rule change raises ire of advocacy groups. The US Supreme Court announced in May that it would entertain public comment on proposed revisions to its rules of procedure. Although most of the modifications under consideration were minor, a more substantial revision under review has raised the ire of various advocacy groups, including the National Chamber Litigation Center (the legal arm of the US Chamber of Commerce), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Public Citizen Litigation Group (PCLG). Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 37.6 requires all amicus ("friend of the court") briefs to disclose, in the first footnote, "whether any counsel for a party authored the brief in whole or in part and shall identify every person or entity, other than the amicus curiae, its members, or its counsel, who made a monetary contribution to the preparation or submission of the brief." The proposed revision adds an additional disclosure requirement: "whether such counsel or a party is a member of the amicus curiae, or made a monetary contribution to the preparation or submission of the brief." The National Chamber Litigation Center (NCLC) and NAM together submitted comments to the Supreme Court on the proposed revisions. "We are concerned that if adopted, the proposed amendments would have a serious chilling effect on our organization's ability to both attract and retain members and to prepare high quality amicus briefs that benefit the court in its consideration of cases that are important to the American business community," stated Robin Conrad, NCLC executive vice president. In comments drafted jointly by the ACLU and PCLG, Steven R. Shapiro, the ACLU's national legal director and Brian Wolfman, director of PCLG, wrote that "[p]ublic disclosure of [their] private membership should not be the price of bringing or litigating a case in the Supreme Court." The proposed effective date of the rule revision is August 1.
USCIS extends comment period on Basic Pilot Program. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has extended the comment period related to an information collection request on its Memorandum of Understanding to Participate in the Basic Pilot Employment Eligibility Program to verify employment eligibility status. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until July 12, 2007. This information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on April 5, 2007 (72 FR 16807), allowing for a 60-day comment period. One comment was received on the information collection. USCIS responded to the comment, but will not be making changes at this time. Written comments and suggestions regarding items contained in this notice, and especially with regard to the estimated public burden and associated response time should be directed to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), USCIS, Chief, Regulatory Management Division, Clearance Office, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, 3rd Floor, Suite 3008, Washington, DC 20529. Comments may also be submitted to DHS via facsimile to 202-272-8352, or via email at email@example.com. When submitting comments by email, add the OMB Control Number 1615-0092 in the subject box. If you have additional comments, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions, or additional information, please visit the USCIS website at: http://www.uscis.gov or contact Richard A. Sloan, Chief, Regulatory Management Division, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, 3rd Floor, Suite 3008, Washington, DC 20529; 202-272-8377.
House Committee on Labor and Education passes Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Late June 27, 2007, by a vote of 25 to 20, the House Education and Labor Committee passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R.2831), which would amend Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1963, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to specify that a discriminatory pay decision or practice, which starts the 180-day time period (or 300-day period if the charge also is covered by a state or local anti-discrimination law) for filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, occurs each time a discriminatory paycheck is issued.
Introduced by committee chair George Miller (D-CA) on June 22, the legislation was drafted in direct response to the US Supreme Court's May 29 decision in Ledbetter v Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, Inc (89 EPD ¶49,827), where the Court, in a 5-4 split, held that employees cannot bring Title VII disparate pay claims that allege discrimination occurring outside the 180-day time period, even when a paycheck is received during that same period. Title VII disparate pay actions are discrete acts "limited to each particular pay-setting decision." They begin to run when an employer makes its decision on the pay differential. There is no new violation each time a later paycheck reflecting that differential is issued, explained the Court, rejecting any kind of "paycheck" rule. In so holding, the Court emphasized the distinction between past acts of disparate pay (which occur when employers make adverse pay decisions) and the present effects of those acts (which are found in employees' paychecks). As a result of the High Court's decision, the committee held a hearing on June 12 to evaluate the current status of Title VII disparate pay claims. Among others, Ledbetter, herself, testified before the committee.
Senate vote blocks Employee Free Choice Act. The Senate effectively killed a bill that would have made it easier for workers to gain union representation. Needing 60 votes to continue consideration of the measure, the bill's supporters failed to advance the bill as the result of a 51-48 vote on June 26. The House passed the bill in March, but President Bush said he would veto it if it reached his desk. Under the bill–the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800)–a new union would be recognized when a majority of workers signs a card authorizing the union to be its bargaining representative. The practice is allowed under current law, but only if the employer agrees to forego a formal election. The bill would have established stronger penalties for employers that illegally fire or discriminate against workers for their union activity. Employers would have been required to pay treble backpay to workers who are illegally fired and would face civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation. If an employee and union is unable to reach agreement within 90 days of bargaining for their first contract, either party could refer the dispute to mediation. Arbitration would follow if mediation does not result in an agreement. The bill was the top legislative priority of organized labor, and union officials said they were gratified that a majority of senators supported the measure.
OFCCP posts update on VEVRAA mandatory job listing requirement for federal contractors. The following notice containing updated information on how federal contractors should meet their job listing requirements under the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act of 2002, was posted on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' (OFCCP) website (http://www.dol.gov/esa/ofccp/index.htm) on June 25, 2007. In particular, this notice concerns the phase out of America's Job Bank on July 1, 2007. As a result of this phase out, covered federal contractors will no longer be able to satisfy VEVRAA's mandatory job listing requirement by listing employment openings with America's Job Bank.
DOL seeks extension of "Beck" notice information collection requirements. The Department of Labor's (DOL)’s Employment Standards Administration's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) is seeking comments on extending its collection of information requirements implementing Executive Order (EO) 13201 regarding providing employees notice of their union dues ("Beck") rights. The current Office of Management and Budget approval expires November 30, 2007. The notice is intended to inform employees of their rights under the decisions of the US Supreme Court in Communications Workers of America v Beck, 109 LC ¶10,548, 487 US 735 (1988), and related cases. As a result, the rights articulated in the decision are referred to as "Beck" rights, and the poster containing the notice is commonly known as the "Beck" poster. The regulations also require that, where applicable, each government contracting agency include certain provisions of EO 13201 in its government contracts, and that government contractors and subcontractors include those provisions in their nonexempt subcontracts and purchase orders. These provisions include the language of the required notices, and explain the sanctions, penalties, and remedies that may be imposed if the contractor or subcontractor fails to comply with its obligations under EO 13201. Covered government contractors and subcontractors must include these same provisions in their nonexempt subcontracts and purchase orders, so that the provisions will be binding upon each subcontractor or vendor. The DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is responsible for conducting compliance evaluations and complaint investigations under EO 13201. Such an evaluation may be limited to compliance with EO 13201 or may be included in a compliance evaluation conducted under other laws, Executive Orders, and/or regulations enforced by the Labor Department.
Senators introduce bipartisan bill to create nationwide system of background checks for long-term care workers. US Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisc), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) were joined on June 8, 2007, by original cosponsors Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark), Carl Levin (D-Mich) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in introducing the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007 (S.1577). The bill would prevent those with criminal histories from working within long-term care settings by establishing a nationwide system of background checks. The system would coordinate abuse and neglect registries with state law enforcement registries. It also adds a federal component to the background check by cross-referencing potential employees with the FBI's national database of criminal history records. Under the disorganized, patchwork system of background checks that exists today, employers trying to hire caregivers cannot always determine which applicants have records of abuse or a history of committing violent crimes. As a result, predators are sometimes hired to take care of our most vulnerable citizens, working in situations where they can cause enormous harm.
Agency fee payers must authorize expenditures for election-related purposes. A state law that prohibited public sector labor unions from using the agency shop fees of a nonmember for election-related purposes, unless the nonmember affirmatively consented, did not violate the First Amendment, ruled a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court. The Court thereby vacated the judgment of the Washington supreme court which had found the affirmative authorization requirement unconstitutional because it amounted to an impermissible presumption that each nonmember objects to the union's use of fees for political activities (Davenport v Washington Education Association, 05-1589, June 14, 2007).
House passes child labor bill. The House passed a bill designed to deter the most serious child labor violations. The legislation (H.R. 2637) would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to increase the fines that could be levied against employers for violations of child labor laws that result in serious injury or death to workers under the age of 18. The House approved the bill on June 12. The Bush administration supports the measure. Under the bill, the maximum fine for child labor violations that cause serious injury or death would be increased from $11,000 to $50,000. The fines could be doubled if investigators determine that a safety violation was either willful or repeated. Penalties would be assessed for each violation. The legislation would not mandate the imposition of penalties; the Labor Department would have the discretion to impose penalties in the most serious cases.
IRS issues proposed HSA comparability regulations. The IRS has issued proposed regulations on how employers can comply with the comparable contribution requirements for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) where an employee has not established an HSA by December 31st or an employee has not notified the employer that he or she has established an HSA. The regulations also address the acceleration of employer contributions for the calendar year for employees who have incurred qualified medical expenses exceeding the employer's cumulative HSA contributions when the expenses were incurred. In general, these proposed regulations affect employers that contribute to employees' HSAs. Employers may rely on these regulations for guidance pending the issuance of final regulations. Alternatively, until the publication of final regulations, employers may continue to rely on the last sentence of Q & A-6(a) of Proposed Reg. §54.4980G-4, which provides that an employer is not required to make comparable contributions for a calendar year to an employee's HSA if the employee has not established an HSA by December 31st of the calendar year.
Proposed regulations issued on deductions for entertainment use of business aircraft. The IRS has issued proposed regulations implementing the restriction on the deductible amount of certain entertainment expenses (in particular, expenses of certain airplane flights) enacted in the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-357). The statutory limitation restricts the amount that a business can deduct with respect to entertainment provided to a "specified individual" to the amount that the employee/recipient actually takes into income for the entertainment. Under prior law, although a deduction for non-business-related entertainment expenses was generally disallowed, a company could deduct such expenses to the extent that they were treated as compensation to the employee/recipient of the entertainment activity. However, the amount of the deduction was not specifically limited to the amount the employee/recipient treated as income. Since the amount taken into income for an airline flight is calculated under special rules, it was possible for the employer to calculate a deduction much greater than the income the recipient recognized. In Sutherland Lumber-Southwest, Inc., the company's deduction for the cost of entertainment-related flights was not limited to the amount included in the income of the employees and executives who took the flights. Thus, a company could deduct the entire cost of providing the flight, which was often much higher than the amount that the employee took into income, as calculated under the Standard Industry Fare Levels (SIFL) formula outlined in Reg. Sec. 1.61-21(g). The limitation enacted in the 2004 Jobs Act was intended to overturn the result in Sutherland Lumber-Southwest, Inc. with respect to entertainment provided to specified individuals.
IRS Notice 2005-45 provided initial guidance regarding the new rule. The proposed regulations generally retain the rules of the Notice, but provide additional clarification in some areas. The regulations are proposed to be effective for any tax year beginning on or after the date final regulations are published. However, taxpayers may rely on the rules in the proposed regulations or those in Notice 2005-45 for tax years beginning before final regulations are published. If the rule in the proposed regulation is different from the rule in Notice 2005-45 on the same issue, the taxpayer may rely on either. However, if the proposed regulations provide a rule, and Notice 2005-45 did not, taxpayers may not rely on the absence of a rule in Notice 2005-45 to apply a rule contrary to that in the proposed regulations.
Comments requested. The IRS invites comments on a number of pending issues related to the regulations. Written or electronic comments must be received by September 13, 2007. Submissions must be sent to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-147171-05), Room 5203, IRS, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington D.C. 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-147171-05), Courier's Desk, IRS, 1111 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington D.C. Comments may also be sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-147171-05).
Public hearing. A public hearing on the proposed regulations is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., October 25, 2007, in the IRS Auditorium at 1111 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. The IRS must receive a written outline of topics to be discussed at the hearing before October 4, 2007.
Source: 72 FR 33169, June 15, 2007.
Senators introduce Tax Equity for Domestic Partner and Health Beneficiaries Act. Senators Gordon H. Smith (R-Ore), and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn), on June 6 introduced the Tax Equity for Domestic Partner and Health Plan Beneficiaries Bill, which would end the tax inequities that currently apply to employer-provided health insurance for domestic partners. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives on March 29, by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash). Currently, the Internal Revenue Code excludes from income the value of insurance premiums and benefits received by employees for coverage of an employee's spouse and dependents, but does not extend this treatment to coverage of domestic partners. The value of domestic partner benefits is included in the employee's wages for the purpose of calculating payroll taxes, thus increasing both the employee's and the employer's payroll tax obligations. "This legislation takes the next step to ensure that all American workers receive equal benefits for equal work," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "A majority of Fortune 500 companies, collectively employing more than 15 million people, now offer healthcare benefits for the domestic partners of their employees. It is past time that our federal tax code is updated to reflect the reality of what is already happening in businesses across the country." As of June 1, 2007, 266 of the Fortune 500 corporations offered health benefits to employees' domestic partners, more than twice as many as in 2000 and more than a tenfold increase since 1995.
IRS requests comments on employee business expense regulations. The IRS is requesting comments on temporary and final regulations (TD 8234) concerning the taxation of, and reporting and withholding on, payments with respect to employee business expenses under a reimbursement or other expense allowance arrangement. The regulations affect employees who receive payments and payors who make payments under such arrangements. Written comments should be received on or before August 13, 2007 to be assured of consideration, and should be directed to Glenn P. Kirkland, Internal Revenue Service, room 6516, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20224 (IRS Notice and Request for Comments, June 14, 2007).
Form 6559 is now obsolete. The Form 6559 (Transmitter Report and Summary of Magnetic Media) is now obsolete. All wages must be filed either electronically or on paper. The Social Security Administration advises taxpayers who use off-the-shelf software that does not offer electronic filing when preparing their wage reports to contact the software company. For more information about electronic filing, and for a list of vendors that offer wage reporting services and/or products, visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/employer.
Source: SSA W-2 News, Issue 2007-2, May 31, 2007)
IRS corrects Pub. 515. Taxpayers who obtained IRS Pub. 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities, before June 2, 2007, should note the following corrections. On page 3, under the heading "Liability for tax", the last sentence was deleted. The IRS notes that this reflects amendments to Reg. §1.1441-1(b)(7)(iii) made by T.D. 9323 (IRB 2007-20, 1240; April 12, 2007.) The text on page 18 was also changed to reflect T.D. 9323 (which contained amendments to Reg. §1.874-14). Under the heading "Ten percent owners", the last sentence should read, "To determine 10% ownership, see Regulations section 1.871-14(g)." A few other changes were also made to the publication. The corrected version of the publication is now available for download from the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov in the Forms & Pubs section (IRS Pub. 515, Rev. April 2007).
Merger impermissible method of pension plan termination, High Court rules. An employer was under no fiduciary obligation to consider a merger of its pension plan with an existing multiemployer plan as an alternative to the purchase of an annuity to meet its obligations in a standard plan termination, because merger is not a permissible method of plan termination under ERISA, the US Supreme Court has unanimously ruled. An employer in bankruptcy, a sponsor of a defined benefit pension plan, sought to terminate the plan in a standard termination. The employer considered purchasing an annuity from an insurer to meet the financial obligations of the termination. As an alternative, a union proposed the merger of the plan with the union's existing multiemployer plan so that participants would have the possibility of receiving more than the minimum benefits and would have available to them the fund's established dispute resolution program. The employer decided instead to proceed with the purchase of an annuity to terminate the plan which, due to overfunding of the plan, allowed the plan sponsor to realize a $5 million reversion after satisfying its obligations to participants and beneficiaries. The union alleged that the plan sponsor, in choosing plan termination instead of merger, breached its fiduciary duty under ERISA to act for the exclusive benefit of the plan participants and beneficiaries. The bankruptcy court, district court, and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. The US Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, reversed (Beck v PACE International Union, USSCt, June 11, 2007).
PBGC proposed regs streamline VRP determination dates for PPA compliance. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued proposed regulations that streamline and make consistent measurement dates and definitions for calculating variable rate premiums (VRPs) to comply with the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA; P.L. 109-280). The PPA changed the funding rules in Title I of ERISA and in the Code on which the variable rate premium is based. Section 401(a) of the PPA amends the variable rate premium provisions of ERISA §4006 to conform to changes in the funding rules and to eliminate the full-funding limit exemption from the variable rate premium. The proposed rules would also revise the regulations under ERISA §4007 (Payment of Premiums) to alter due dates of variable rate premiums (in some cases) to better coincide with the new definitions of "unfunded vested benefits" (UVB) and "premium funding target." Overall, the regulations would be streamlined to provide single applicable valuation dates or determination dates for given calculations. In addition, the rules applicable to "small plans," defined as less than 100 participants, have been altered to more closely mirror the availability of plan data and provide for calculations based on similar data rather than data at different points in time.
Baucus, Grassley question recently enacted airline pension relief provisions. Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have called on CEOs of American and Continental Airlines to detail the benefits their companies will receive from provisions added to the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act (H.R. 2206; P.L. 110-28), signed into law on May 25, 2007. Baucus is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and Grassley is the ranking Republican. Section 6615 of the Act (see CCH PENSION PLAN GUIDE ¶29,148), permits pension plans of air carriers that continue to accrue benefits for active workers to use an interest rate of 8.25% to calculate the plans' target liability for ten years, effective for the first plan year beginning after December 31, 2007. This provision was not included in either the Senate or the House version of the legislation, nor was it considered by the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over pension issues. "These two airlines flew around the Finance Committee to get this pension provision in the spending bill, but we will review in the light of day exactly what deal they got," said Baucus in a news release.
SSA reports on recent changes to W-2s, SS cards and the SSNVS. The W-2 Electronic Filing specifications is now known as EFW2, rather than as MMREF-1, according to Chuck Liptz, Director, Employee Wage Reporting and Relations Staff, Social Security Administration, at the recent 25th American Payroll Association Annual Congress held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The W-2c Electronic Filing specifications will also have a name change from MMREF-2 to EFW2C. Liptz stated that now that the MMREF format is gone it was time to change the name of the electronic filing specifications.
Changes to Form W-2. Employee data privacy was a driving force to changes to the 2007 Form W-2, noted Liptz. The employee's Social Security number (SSN) on the current Form W-2 appears in a box in the middle of the form just below the employee's name and address box. The SSA then received feedback complaining that when W-2s are mailed out using envelopes with windows to show the employee's address, the Social Security number can also be easily seen and, thus, potentially stolen. As a result, the SSA has moved the box for the SSN to the top of the form where the control number box used to be. The control number box has been moved to the middle of the form.
New Social Security cards. All new and replacement Social Security cards also will have a "new look". First, the cards will have a "date line" that will indicate the date the card was issued. The SSA is calling this line an issue date, but Liptz noted that it is not the date when the card was originally issued to the individual, rather it is the date when the current card was printed. The second change involves the display of the individual's name. The individual's last name will be on its own line. Liptz cautioned that individuals' old cards are still good and that they do not need to be replaced.
SSNVS. The SSA is making some changes to the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) as well, announced Bill Brees, the agency's Regional Employer Services Liaison Officer. Employers use the SSNVS to verify the name and SSN of a fired employee with the SSA over the Internet. Brees noted that, in August, the SSA will start sending back all individuals keyed into the system, not just mismatches, as it does currently. For mismatches, the employer will need to send back an individual's given name and the full Social Security number. For matches, the employer will receive the given name and the last four digits of the individual's Social Security number.
The SSNVS currently has five possible mismatch codes: (1) SSN not in the file (never issued to anyone); (2) Name and date of birth (DOB) match, gender code does not match; (3) Name and gender code match, DOB does not match; (4) Name matches, DOB and gender code do not match; and (5) Name does not match, DOB and gender code not checked. Starting in August, there will be a sixth possible mismatch code--Unable to verify. Those individuals will be directed to talk to the SSA themselves. According to Brees, if this code is received for a particular individual, it means that the employer has a problem that should be addressed. Liptz noted that while the SSNVS cannot be used for new hire verifications, an employer can potentially use it to find problems with new hires before wages are due to someone not eligible to work. The best case scenario, according to Liptz, would involve a formal offer of employment being made and accepted. The SSNVS would then be used to verify the name and SSN before the individual actually starts to work.
SSA renews computer matching program with the IRS. The Social Security Administration has announced that it is renewing a computer matching program with the IRS. The purpose of this matching program is to establish conditions under which the IRS agrees to disclose to the SSA certain return information necessary to verify an individual's self-certification of eligibility for prescription drug subsidy assistance for Medicare Part D. Pursuant to Social Security Act §1860D-14, the SSA is required to determine whether an individual is eligible for assistance as described in Act §1860D-14(a). Under the matching program, the SSA will provide the IRS with identifying information with respect to applicants for and recipients of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Subsidy from the Medicare Database (MDB File) system of records, SSA/ORSIS 60-0321. The IRS will extract return information with respect to unearned income from the Information Returns Master File (IRMF), Treasury/IRS 22.061. The SSA will maintain return information provided by the IRS through this match in the MBD File system of records. The renewal is expected to begin on October 1, 2007, and last for 18 months.