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Tax Guidance Needed as Remote Work Grows, Panelist Says

How should the federal and state governments approach remote work taxation? In this Law360 article, McDermott partner Kathleen Quinn says the growing complexity of remote work highlights the need for guidance.

“What’s becoming even more problematic is now, we don’t just have people that work in a New York office and they traditionally work from home from New Jersey,” Quinn said. “Now, people are saying, ‘Well, I’m going to work from New Jersey, then in the winter I’m going to work from Florida…and then maybe for a month I’ll go to Europe.’ It really becomes sort of a withholding mess.”

Read the article.




CARES Act—Tax Deferral Opportunities for Employers

The CARES Act created several payroll tax deferral opportunities but also left employer board members and executives asking what exactly was deferred and worrying about “responsible person” liability.

In particular, Section 2302 of the CARES Act (Public Law 116-136) allows all employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s portion of Social Security taxes for a minimum of 12 months and, for some deferrals, a period of more than 32 months. Despite the confusion among some advisers, unlike the employee retention tax credit available under the CARES Act, this opportunity to defer employer Social Security taxes is even available for those employers applying for Small Business Administration loans.

Access the full article.




COVID-19 — Tax Planning Opportunity for Defined Benefit Participants?

Much has been written about the new CARES Act distribution that allows impacted COVID-19 participants to access up to $100,000 in their tax-qualified defined contribution plan penalty-free and with income taxes spread over three years. However, the CARES Act legislation applies to all “eligible retirement plans” as defined in Code Section 402. So technically the CARES Act also applies to defined benefit plans.

Consider, the following examples.

  • A cash balance plan permits lump sum distributions to terminated participants. If this cash balance plan decides to add CARES Act distributions, and if its record keeper will administer the provisions, terminated participants who meet the CARES Act conditions can access their funds penalty-free and spread the income tax consequences over three years.
  • In addition, if a plan will offer a lump sum window during 2020, then participants who qualify under the CARES Act distribution rules could elect a lump sum and use the favorable tax treatment for the applicable portion of the distribution, up to $100,000.

Note that the $100,000 limit applies across all plans, so a participant in both a defined contribution plan and a defined benefit plan will need to ensure that the limit is applied to all plans in which he or she participates.

Given all the difficulties that both employees and retirees are experiencing with COVID-19, a plan sponsor may want to explore all available COVID-19 distributions under the CARES Act, including options for its defined benefit plan with its actuaries, record keepers, and attorneys.




CARES Act Social Security Tax Deferral and Employee Retention Credits

The CARES Act provides for payroll tax relief, including employee retention tax credits and the deferral of all employer Social Security tax payments to help employers in the face of economic hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers should work with their tax advisors, payroll providers, and payroll departments to immediately implement these valuable savings. The broad-based employer and employee relief provided under the CARES Act includes two forms of payroll tax relief related to an employer’s Social Security tax payments: deferral of all employer Social Security tax payments, and employee retention tax credits of up to $5,000 for qualified wages paid to employees. All employers should consider taking advantage of these valuable tax savings to alleviate the broad and deep impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and their employees.

Access the full article here.




IRS Extends HSA Contribution Deadline to July 15, 2020

Overview

A new IRS notice extends the deadline for individuals to make health savings account (HSA) contributions from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.  The IRS issued the notice to provide taxpayers with various tax filing and payment deadline extensions in response to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency.

In Depth

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the IRS has issued Notice 2020-18, which extends certain tax filing and payment deadlines.  All taxpayers with filing or payment deadlines of April 15, 2020 are eligible for relief under the Notice, regardless of whether they are directly impacted by COVID-19 (for example, due to illness or quarantine).  The Notice extends the deadline for individuals to make contributions to their health savings accounts from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

HSAs allow individuals who are covered under high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) to contribute an amount up to IRS limits ($3,550 for individual coverage and $7,100 for family coverage in 2020), which is used to pay for certain eligible medical expenses on a pre-tax basis.  HSA contributions are typically due by the federal income tax filing deadline of April 15.  Because that deadline has now been extended to July 15, 2020, the IRS has also extended the deadline to make HSA contributions until the new filing deadline.

Earlier this month, the IRS allowed individuals covered by an HDHP to receive testing and care for COVID-19 without a deductible, or with a deductible below the HDHP minimum, without disqualifying the individual from making or receiving HSA contributions (see our previous On the Subject here).




Exec Comp Regs Crack Down on Partnership Arrangements

Corporations looking to use partnerships to avoid the executive compensation deduction limitation may be out of luck. The new proposed regs (REG-122180-18) on the section 162(m) executive compensation deduction limitation include a rule on compensation paid by a partnership to an executive of a publicly held corporation that’s subject to the limitation.

McDermott’s Andrew C. Liazos contributes to a Tax Notes article that takes a look at these new regulations and what they mean for partnership arrangements.

Access the full article.

Originally published on Tax Notes, December 2019




Still Tax, Even Without the Distributed Cash

The IRS recently issued guidance on the tax treatment, withholding and reporting for required distributions from tax-qualified retirement plans. Plan sponsors should contact their retirement vendors and trustees to ensure that they implement the tax requirements of the new guidance appropriately for their tax-qualified retirement plans.

Access the full article.




Supplemental Benefit Planning for Tax-Exempt Employers

Tax-exempt employers face a matrix of tax and disclosure issues in designing an appropriate supplement retirement program. This resource intends to examine the income tax, payroll tax and Form 990 reporting aspects of the major plans currently available to tax-exempt employers, and review those major plans from the reference point of several major design considerations.

Continue Reading.




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