Alerts & Bulletins

Form 8621: IRS Notice Helps Reduce Some PFIC Reporting for Tax-Exempt Organizations

Background On December 31, 2013, proposed regulations were published under Sections 1291 and 1298 of the Internal Revenue Code that defined the term “shareholder” for purposes of passive foreign investment company (PFIC) taxation and information reporting rules. Internal Revenue Service Notice 2014-28 (the “Notice”) confirms that the effect of these regulations is to reduce the number of tax-exempt PFIC shareholders that are required to file Form 8621, Information Return by a Shareholder of a Passive Foreign Investment Company or Qualified Electing Fund, with their annual tax returns. Specifically, the Notice provides that the IRS will amend the regulations under Section. Read More.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fee Due July 31, 2014

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (“PCORI”), a government entity that was created under the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“ACA”), is funded by a fee from certain insurance companies and employers. If you have a self-insured plan, you likely will need to file Form 720 and pay this fee by July 31st. Insurance companies should be completing this process for you if your plan is insured. What is the PCORI? The purpose of the PCORI is to conduct, support and synthesize research on the outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of healthcare services and procedures. The fee applies to insurance companies that. Read More.

Government Overpayments Approached $100 Billion in 2013

Ahead of this week’s House Oversight subcommittee hearing, it was announced that the U.S. government last year spent $97 billion making payments to people not permitted to them. While the Obama administration has worked to lower improper payments since 2010, estimates show the government continues to waste money at a time when Congress is seeking ways to trim the budget. Representing the biggest chunk of such payments are government health care programs like Medicare ($36 billion) and Medicaid ($14.4 billion). Other programs that received overpayments in 2013 include the earned income tax credit ($14.5 billion), unemployment insurance ($6.2 billion) and. Read More.

Academy of Actuaries Support FASB’s Building-Block Approach for Converged Insurance Standard

In an attempt to push changes beneficial to its organization, the American Academy of Actuaries (“the Academy”) has requested that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) align its proposed insurance accounting model to the International Accounting Standards Board’s (“IASB”) version for their converged standard. Submitted in its comment letter last week, the Academy wrote that the building-block approach considered in FASB’s Proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2013-290, Insurance Contracts (Topic 834), addresses U.S. GAAP insufficiencies and offers the best chance to create a converged standard with IFRS. As mentioned in ASU No. 2013-290, the building-block approach combines the current. Read More.

Transition Rules for the Affordable Care Act Ease Compliance for Employers

If you employ fewer than 100 full-time employees (including full-time equivalents), you can continue with your existing health plans, if any, as a result of recently released favorable transition rules on the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) employer shared responsibility provisions. In addition, larger employers need only provide coverage to 70 percent of their workforce in 2015 (increasing to 95 percent in 2016) to be deemed in compliance and there are special rules for dependents that can postpone the need to expand coverage even further. The U.S. Treasury Department recently released final regulations on the ACA employer shared responsibility provisions. These rules. Read More.

Employee Benefit Plan Newsletter: Summer 2014 Edition

Now available is the Summer 2014 edition of Cherry Bekaert’s Employee Benefit Plan newsletter. Topics featured in this edition include information on restating retirement plans, details on the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) extending the application period for pre-approved 403(b) prototype plan status, IRS guidance on rollovers to qualified plans and counting participants in a plan. The newsletter also offers reminders related to receiving §408(b)(2) disclosures, filing Form 8955-SSA by July 31st and the annual §404(a)(5) Disclosure Notice. Click here to read the full newsletter.

FBAR Must be Received Electronically by June 30th Deadline

If you have a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, any foreign financial accounts with a combined balance of more than $10,000 at any time during the preceding calendar year, the Bank Secrecy Act may require you to report the account annually by electronically filing Form FinCen 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). This includes a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund (PFIC), interest in a trust, or other type of foreign financial account. If you had such a financial interest at any time during 2013, the FBAR must be received by the IRS. Read More.

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