Blue Ridge ESOP Associates Industry News

Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Recent Posts

June 2019 - IRS/DOL Corner

Posted by Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Jun 18, 2019 2:30:00 PM

More Mistakes can be Self-Corrected

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Getting Ready for Changes in Hardship Distribution Rules

Posted by Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Dec 12, 2018 2:30:00 PM

As the result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, and the subsequent issuance of proposed Treasury regulations, hardship distributions should generally be easier for participants to obtain, assuming they are covered by a plan with a hardship provision and assuming that plan sponsors are on board with the hardship provision changes that are optional.  Plan sponsors should be hearing from their recordkeepers and third party administrators regarding the default changes that will be occuring unless the plan sponsor:

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Topics: Distributions

December 2018 - IRS/DOL Corner

Posted by Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Dec 12, 2018 2:30:00 PM

IRS/DOL Corner

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September 2018 - IRS/DOL Corner

Posted by Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Sep 7, 2018 2:00:00 PM

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June 2018 - IRS/DOL Corner

Posted by Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Jun 4, 2018 4:00:00 PM

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March 2018 - IRS/DOL Corner

Posted by Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Mar 13, 2018 4:11:33 PM

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IRS/DOL Corner - December 2017

Posted by Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Dec 19, 2017 3:00:00 PM

2017 Form 5500 – No Big Changes

The IRS has released advance copies of the 2017 Form 5500 and instructions.  The previous year’s optional compliance questions are gone, along with information about paid preparers.  We don’t expect to see a major revision for several years.

Tax Reform

As of this writing, Congress is still working out tax reform legislation.  The good news so far is that we’re not seeing anything that negatively impacts ESOPs.

Minimum Distributions and Missing Participants

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IRS/DOL Corner - Hurricane Relief

Posted by Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Sep 8, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Given the tremendous devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, the IRS has issued two relief declarations that may be of interest to plan sponsors.  The first extends to January 31, 2018 the time for filing Form 5500 and certain other returns that would otherwise become due for filing between August 23, 2017 and January 31, 2018.  Affected employers are those in the counties covered by the relief announcement (listed on the IRS website) and those who are unable to complete filings because they can’t obtain required filing data from a bank or other service provider in the covered areas. The IRS news release is at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-for-victims-of-hurricane-harvey-in-texas

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IRS/DOL Corner - Hardship Withdrawals & Legislative Activity

Posted by Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

May 22, 2017 3:51:20 PM

Hardship Withdrawals

In an April 2015 article, the IRS said plan sponsors must maintain supporting documentation for hardship withdrawals.  The IRS asserted that it was not sufficient to rely on a participant’s self-certification that criteria for a hardship distribution had been met.  The IRS also said that a plan sponsor’s failure to maintain hardship documentation was a plan qualification issue.  That last assertion drew criticism from some daily recordkeepers who were relying on participant electronic certification for hardship withdrawals.

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IRS/DOL Corner - February 2016

Posted by Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Feb 9, 2017 10:27:15 AM

Good News for Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

The IRS has issued a proposed regulation that will permit forfeitures to be used to satisfy safe harbor contributions.  This is welcome news for 401(k) safe harbor plans that hold employer match or discretionary profit sharing money that was subject to a vesting schedule when contributed to the plan.  While many 401(k) plans permit forfeitures to be used for plan expenses or other non-safe harbor employer allocation purposes, the proposed regulation gives plan sponsors another option – use forfeitures to fund safe harbor contributions

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