Alerts & Bulletins

IRS Announces 2015 Employee Benefit Inflation-Adjusted Amounts

Discussed in the latest Cherry Bekaert Benefits Consulting (“CBBC”) Health & Benefits Update, the Internal Revenue Service has announced the inflation-adjusted amounts for 2015. The adjustments affect the health insurance expense of small employers, cafeteria plans, qualified transportation fringe benefits and adoption assistance programs. For the complete Health & Benefits Update , please visit the CBBC site.

Cash Balance Plans Using Plan Asset Return As “Interest Crediting Rate”

Issued by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in September, the final “Market Rate of Return” regulations for hybrid pension plans preserve the use of actual plan asset returns as the interest credit rate. According to the guidance, a cash balance accrued benefit plan is defined as either the cash balance account or an equivalent annuity payable at retirement. Additionally, the accrued benefit definition is only pertinent to fulfilling the IRS’ age discrimination rules. For all other purposes, such as IRC Sec. 415 benefit limits and non-discrimination compliance, the cash balance accrued benefit is defined as an annuity at retirement. For. Read More.

Super Circular FAQs

As you can imagine, the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (“COFAR”) has received many questions requesting clarification on, and guidance for implementation of, various sections of the new Super Circular. As a result, the COFAR has published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on their website. The questions cover such topics as effective dates, fixed amount awards, definitions of “should” and “must,” procurement, indirect costs, indirect cost rates, and many other topics.  Additionally, during a COFAR-sponsored Super Circular web event on October 2, 2014, the speaker explained that the FAQs carry the same weight as the circular (which is located at 2 CFR 200) and. Read More.

New Limited Time Opportunity for Tax Benefits on Partial Dispositions

If you own real estate that has been remodeled, renovated, upgraded or otherwise improved, you may be eligible to file an accounting method change for a one-time tax deduction. Recently released IRS guidance provides a limited time opportunity to analyze your tax fixed asset records and report losses for portions of property disposed of in prior years, but which are still on the records for depreciation. The most common scenario for partial dispositions occurs when original real property is subsequently remodeled, renovated, upgraded or otherwise improved. The new Revenue Procedure providing this guidance specifically allows you to take a one-time. Read More.

No Shortage to Talk About

Government accounting and finance officers have no shortage of things to be paying attention to. GASB recently released its Technical Plan for the Last Four Months of 2014. GASB plans to issue a Preliminary Views Documents on Leases and Fiduciary Responsibilities before the year is out while also issuing an exposure draft on Tax Abatement Disclosures. The lease project follows the FASB’s convergence project with the IASB on leases. While the projects are not exact copies, the concept of a lessor recording a lease asset on the books in most instances is present. However, the credit side of the entry. Read More.

Preparing for Health Coverage Reporting Requirements

If you are an employer that sponsors a health plan for employees, you need to be sure that you are compiling information necessary to comply with Affordable Care Act reporting requirements. Information filing is required for the 2015 year on forms that will be due in early 2016. Although filing deadlines are more than a year away, processes and procedures for collecting the required information should be in place beginning in January 2015 because information will be reported for each month. The IRS has released draft Forms 1095-B, Health Coverage, and 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, with instructions.. Read More.

IRS Expands Cafeteria Plan Allowable Election Changes and Other Miscellaneous Guidance

Released by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), the following Notices address various issues that affect employer-sponsored health coverage: IRS Notice 2014-55, Additional Permitted Election Changes for Health Coverage under § 125 Cafeteria Plans: Effective September 28, 2014, employees now have additional opportunities to enroll in Marketplace coverage that were previously limited under IRC §125 cafeteria plans. IRS Notice 2014-56, Update to the Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Fund Fee: For plan years ending on or after October 1, 2014, and before October 1, 2015, the PCOR fee will increase to $2.08. IRS Notice 2014-49, More Guidance on the Look-Back Measurement. Read More.

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