Can employers provide disaster relief for COVID-19?
October 16, 2020 COVID-19
Can employers provide disaster relief for COVID-19?

Many employees have suffered financial hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, some employers may consider offering financial assistance as a fringe benefit. A common question that arises regarding such an idea is: Does the Internal Revenue Code allow disaster relief payments to be made on a tax-advantaged basis specifically in relation to COVID-19? […]

More time: FASB delays long-term insurance standard … again
October 9, 2020 COVID-19
More time: FASB delays long-term insurance standard … again

On September 30, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) finalized a rule to defer the effective date of the updated long-term insurance standard for a second time. The deferral will give insurers more time to properly implement the changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Need for change After 12 years of work, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update […]

Extended benefit claims and appeals periods during COVID-19
October 6, 2020 COVID-19
Extended benefit claims and appeals periods during COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal agencies have extended certain claims and appeals periods for employee pension benefits plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The relief also applies to qualifying group health plans, as well as eligible disability plans and other employee welfare benefit plans. The extension permits the “outbreak […]

DOL revises rules on paid sick and family leave related to COVID-19
September 29, 2020 COVID-19
DOL revises rules on paid sick and family leave related to COVID-19

In August, a federal trial court invalidated several provisions of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) temporary regulations that implemented the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). By way of a response, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division recently issued revised temporary regulations and updated its related FAQs. The revised […]

COVID-19 testing, diagnostics not minimum essential coverage
September 24, 2020 COVID-19
COVID-19 testing, diagnostics not minimum essential coverage

In Notice 2020-66, the IRS recently determined that Medicaid coverage limited to COVID-19 testing and diagnostic services isn’t minimum essential coverage under a government-sponsored program. Thus, an individual’s eligibility for this coverage for one or more months doesn’t prevent those months from qualifying as coverage months for purposes of determining eligibility for the premium tax credit […]

How to report COVID-19-related debt restructuring
September 22, 2020 COVID-19
How to report COVID-19-related debt restructuring

Today, many banks are working with struggling borrowers on loan modifications. Recent guidance from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) confirms that short-term modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be subject to the complex accounting rules for troubled debt restructurings (TDRs). Here are the details. Accounting for TDRs Under Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 310-40, Receivables […]

IRS Issues Guidance on Employee Payroll Tax Deferral
September 9, 2020 COVID-19
IRS Issues Guidance on Employee Payroll Tax Deferral

by Nicholas Sanchez, J.D., LL.M. Taxation On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued a “Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations In Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster” (“Memorandum”) in which he directed Treasury Secretary Mnuchin (“Secretary”) to defer the withholding and payment of the employee share of Social Security tax. The Memorandum provides that the […]

How qualified retirement plan rules affect COVID-19-related layoffs and rehires
September 1, 2020 COVID-19
How qualified retirement plan rules affect COVID-19-related layoffs and rehires

Has your organization laid off employees this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but you plan to rehire some of them before the end of 2020? Or maybe you already have. If so, and you offer a qualified retirement plan, the IRS recently issued an important clarification regarding whether partial termination of a qualified plan […]

Strengthen your supply chain with constant risk awareness
August 7, 2020 COVID-19
Strengthen your supply chain with constant risk awareness

When the COVID-19 crisis exploded in March, among the many concerns was the state of the nation’s supply chains. Business owners are no strangers to such worry. It’s long been known that, if too much of a company’s supply chain is concentrated (that is, dependent) on one thing, that business is in danger. The pandemic […]

IRS relief available for midyear contribution changes to safe harbor 401(k)s
August 6, 2020 COVID-19
IRS relief available for midyear contribution changes to safe harbor 401(k)s

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the IRS recently issued Notice 2020-52. It offers sponsors of safe harbor 401(k) plans with temporary relief from certain requirements applicable to midyear reductions or suspensions of contributions. The guidance also clarifies the requirements for midyear contribution reductions (during or after the pandemic) that affect only highly compensated employees (HCEs) […]

Form W-2 reporting of COVID-19-related sick leave and family leave
August 3, 2020 COVID-19
Form W-2 reporting of COVID-19-related sick leave and family leave

In Notice 2020-54, the IRS recently provided guidance to employers on Form W-2 reporting of qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages. These are the wages paid to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The guidance requires employers to report the amount of qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages paid […]

Organized crime has adapted just fine to COVID-19
July 28, 2020 COVID-19
Organized crime has adapted just fine to COVID-19

Unlike some legitimate businesses, organized crime enterprises can be expected to weather the current COVID-19 crisis. In fact, with millions of Americans now working from home, organized crime-related cyber fraud — including phishing schemes and ransomware attacks — has grown exponentially. If you haven’t done so recently, it’s important to review and possibly upgrade your […]