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Employee Benefits Blog - E-Blog

Employee Benefits Blog

The Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation attorneys at Chamberlain Hrdlicka represent public companies, large and closely-held private companies, tax-exempt organizations, and the fiduciaries who oversee those entities' employee benefit plans.  We understand incentives in the workplace, and we stand ready with an integrated approach to help you deal with them.

From qualified retirement plans, to executive compensation, to fiduciary advice, to health and welfare programs, to mergers and acquisitions, to ERISA litigation, our broad experience helps companies answer questions in these areas of the law.  A background in tax, securities, and fiduciary matters is our foundation.  A common theme runs through our work in these areas: we specialize in representing employers in protecting their interests and maximizing tax advantages. We understand the work that goes into creating and maintaining incentives in the workplace, and we have the technical skills to help keep a company's employee benefit plans operating at peak efficiency.

At Chamberlain Hrdlicka, we stand with company Boards of Directors, Compensation Committees, and the HR teams that serve those directors and committees, as they seek to provide a stable, productive environment for company executives and workers.

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a division called Tax Exempt & Government Entities (TEGE). This division has updated its Compliance Program and Priorities (CPP) webpage on IRS.gov to provide information about its fiscal year2021 compliance initiatives. TEGE's purpose and mission are to help tax-exempt and government entities comply with applicable tax laws as well as to try and protect the public by making sure the tax law is applied to tax-exempt organizations with integrity and fairness. The TEGE is also responsible for compliance around employee benefit plans as ...

Announcement 2021-7 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notifies taxpayers that amounts paid for personal protective equipment, such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19 PPE) are treated as amounts paid for medical care under § 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code).  Therefore, amounts paid by an individual taxpayer for COVID-19 PPE for use by the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or the taxpayer’s dependent(s) that are not compensated for by insurance or otherwise ...

The IRS recently came out with new guidance for relief from the Coronavirus disease – COVID-19 by way of cafeteria plans and specifically health flexible spending arrangements (“FSA”) and dependent care flexible spending arrangements or dependent care assistance programs (“DCAP”).  These are simple employee benefit programs that most employers offer or should offer. 

The tax benefits to employees are powerful if used properly and are a great way for human resources to help employees with their overall financial well-being.  This type of program makes employees ...

Categories: COVID-19

Enacted Dec. 27, 2020, The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 made a number of amendments to the Employee Retention Tax Credits (“ERTC”) previously available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  Changes include extending the ERTC for six months through June 30, 2021.   Some of the changes apply only to calendar year 2021, while others apply to both 2020 and 2021 calendar years.

Due to the new legislation, eligible employers can claim a refundable tax credit against their share of Social Security taxes equal to 70% of the ...

A former Bank of America employee filed a proposed class action in Florida federal court alleging the bank provided employees with noncompliant, "confusing and piecemeal" COBRA notices in an effort to save money, willfully violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.  This is not the first class action filed for poorly drafted COBRA notices.  The daily penalty that can be imposed per violation is staggering.

Other cases that have been filed allege that the COBRA notices were missing items that are required by the Department of Labor’s model notice.  For example, the name ...

Self-directed IRA distribution to Owner was taxable when it could have been avoided easily.

In Ball, TC Memo 2020-152, the Tax Court has held against a self-directed traditional IRA owner. The owner directly took an IRA distribution and then transferred the cash into the IRA owner's wholly-owned limited liability company. The distribution was redeposited into the IRA in a subsequent year. The Internal Revenue Service and the Tax Court held that the owner had taxable income in the year of the distribution.

All self-directed IRA owners should be very careful in how they invest the ...

494 pages of guidance on 62 pages of new final regulations that impact employer sponsored group health plans.  This will not be easy nor cheap!

The final rules set forth requirements for group health plans and health insurance issuers in the individual and group markets to disclose cost-sharing information upon request to a participant, beneficiary, or enrollee (or his or her authorized representative), including an estimate of the individual’s cost-sharing liability for covered items or services furnished by a particular provider. Under the final rules, plans and issuers are ...

Catherine Jones, Employee Plans Director with the Internal Revenue Service’s Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division, laid out the IRS’s thinking regarding top compliance issues for employee benefit plans, during a November 10 webinar hosted by the American Institute of CPAs. 

Not surprisingly, with the CARES Act changing the qualified plans landscape, loans and required minimum distributions are a high priority, as these areas are creating a lot of operational errors in qualified plans. Further compliance areas include: Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs); ...

In accordance with Executive Order 13847, the Treasury Department and the IRS have examined the life expectancy and distribution period tables in formerly applicable §1.401(a)(9)-9 and have reviewed currently available mortality data.  As a result of this review, the Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that those tables should be updated to reflect current life expectancies.  Accordingly, these regulations, https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-24723.pdf, update those tables. 

The life expectancy tables and applicable distribution period ...

The Department of Labor’s final regulation (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/06/30/2020-13705/financial-factors-in-selecting-plan-investments) makes it clear that ERISA plan fiduciaries may not invest in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) vehicles when they understand an underlying investment strategy of the vehicle is to subordinate return or increase risk for the purpose of non-pecuniary objectives.