IRS Expands Self-Correction of Plan Qualification Errors

In 2018, the IRS modified its program for correction of plan qualification failures to significantly increase the fees for getting approval of corrections under the Voluntary Compliance Program (“VCP”). Since that occurred, the IRS has issued expanded permissible self-correction methods under Revenue Procedure 2019-19. This new Procedure provides many new ways in which a plan sponsor may act independently to fix errors to retain the plan’s tax qualification, without IRS filings, user fees, or other involvement. The new procedure permits plans to self-correct failures in two categories that previously required VCP filings: problems with participant loans and plan amendments. 1. In regards to loan failures, the new procedure permits self-correction of loan failures if the failure relates to • A default on loan payments (if..

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Significant Changes to Retirement Plans Proposed

As of April 2, 2019, there are two bills rapidly moving through Congress with bipartisan support. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (“SECURE”) passed the House and the Senate has proposed the Retirement Enhancement Security Act of 2019 (“RESA”). The bills are very similar and because there is bipartisan support it is likely that something will be passed soon. Some of the proposed changes are as follows: 1. Encourage employees to participate in automatic contributions in 401(k) plans and require employers to provide estimates of how much an employee’s account would provide employees if it were invested in an annuity. 2. Make it easier for small employers to join other employers in multiple-employer plans. 3. Easing nondiscrimination rules for frozen..

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Business Law Information: New Ruling Allowing an LLC to adopt an ESOP

The IRS released a recent Private Letter Ruling (PLR 201538021) that surprisingly allows a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) to adopt an ESOP. This is a new development that should be considered with caution since a PLR only applies to the taxpayer that asked for the ruling and there are some pre-requirements that may continue to create a tax problem if implemented. Here’s the story: Background The rules under the Internal Revenue Code have so far limited the use of ESOPs to C- or S-Corporations. One of the requirements for an ESOP is that it invests predominantly in qualifying employer securities. LLCs were not permitted to have ESOPs because the membership units were not considered qualifying employer securities. As a result, an LLC had..

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