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Offering Employee Equity Has Become Much Easier for Australian Start-Ups

From 1 July 2015 the way in which options granted by any company to its employees in Australia will be taxed has changed, but the main winners under the new tax rules are those Australian companies that qualify for the...more

Proposed IRS Regulations Simplify Section 83(b) Filing Requirements

As explained in a prior blog post, an employee who timely files a Section 83(b) election will be taxed on the fair market value of property transferred (typically restricted stock) to him or her in exchange for services on...more

Good Bets by a 401(k) Plan Sponsor to Avoid Liability

I don’t gamble because I don’t like to lose and that’s a big problem about gambling because people do lose. I stopped playing Powerball and Mega Millions. The last time I ever bet on a sport was betting a friend $10 on the...more

How Employers Can Avoid Turning Their Retirement Plan Into An HR Disaster

When it comes to recruiting and retaining employees, salary isn’t enough. Employees also seek benefits, which can be treated as tax-free compensation such as employer-provided health insurance and tuition assistance. One...more

IRS Moves to Limit De-Risking Lump Sum Distributions

On July 9, 2015, the IRS announced that it intends to amend the required minimum distribution regulations under Section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit plans from offering voluntary lump-sum cashouts to...more

Never Use Your Payroll Provider As Your 401(k) TPA

I have been in my own practice for 5 years and for 5 years, I’ve made enemies with two of the largest payroll providers in this country because I have issues with payroll providers being third party administrators (TPAs) for...more

Fund Managers, Welcome to the Hotel California - When It Comes to Certain Taxes, It's Possible You Can Never Leave - Tax Update...

Fund Managers May Be Taxable in California, Even if the Manager Has No Property or Payroll in California and All of the Management Services Are Performed Outside of the State. Several recent law changes in California,...more

How Retirement Plan Advisors Can Benefit From Any New DOL Fiduciary Rule

One of my favorite companies is Netflix. The first time I came into contact with them, it was through an offer that was in the box of the first DVD player I bought in 2000. Instead of rentals through Blockbuster or Hollywood...more

Corporate E-Note - June 2015

In this Issue: - IRS Issues Guidance on Portability: The IRS recently issued final regulations that provide guidance on the federal estate and gift tax applicable exclusion amount, in general, as well as the...more

Things in a 401(k) Plan That Don’t Look Right

They always say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but people do. People say you shouldn’t judge people by their appearance and they do. Just because something doesn’t look right, doesn’t mean it isn’t right....more

Deferred Compensation - Updated IRS Audit Guide

The IRS recently updated the Audit Techniques Guide that is provided to its agents with respect to deferred compensation programs, including - as the Guide specifies - salary reduction arrangements, bonus deferral plans,...more

Employer’s Excuses About Their Retirement Plan And Why They’re Wrong

When dealing with my children and many adults, I hear many excuses why things don’t get done correctly. No one wants to accept re- sponsibility for their ineptness; they just cling to these excuses. Plan sponsors don’t have...more

Small 401(k) Plans Have More Problems Than Larger Ones

Bigger does not mean better, that’s what mom and pop stores say all the time. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. When it comes to 401(k) plans, most people would assume that larger 401(k) plans would have...more

Nevada Establishes Conclusive Presumption for Independent Contractor Status

In Terry v. Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club, 336 P.3d 951 (Nev. Oct. 30, 2014), the Nevada Supreme Court adopted the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA)’s “economic realities” test to determine whether workers can be classified as...more

Taking Your Business International

Going international is a complicated undertaking. The steps required will depend on your specific situation and concerns. The following outlines, in very general terms, some of the issues you must consider as you begin to...more

As a Retirement Plan Provider, Things You Should Let Go

A few years back, I would hear “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen every 5-7 minutes. It was a great song from a great movie, but it was a little unnerving to hear it 7-10 times on a short car trip. Then it stopped, my children...more

New York State Attorney General Issues Guidance on the Conflict of Interest and Whistleblower Policy Provisions of the New York...

The New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau recently issued written guidance on certain provisions of the New York Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013 (the “Act”), including provisions on audit oversight...more

Electronic Self-Certification for Hardship Distributions is Not Sufficient

In its April 1, 2015 Employee Plans News, the IRS stated that defined contribution plan sponsors must maintain hardship distribution records and that plan sponsors cannot rely on electronic participant self-certification for...more

Plan Sponsors Should Avoid The Dark Side of the Retirement Plan Business

I grew up in New York City and the City of today isn’t like it was when I grew up. They called it Fun City and not because it was fun unless you thought crime was fun. I remember going to take a Washington D.C. bus (because...more

It Takes Only One Retirement Plan Participant To Sink An Employer

There are a couple of songs that says it takes two, but that’s for love. When it comes to causing grief and heartache for retirement plan sponsor, it only takes one. The one is a plan participant who is adamant of making a...more

Treasury Releases Select Draft Provisions for Next U.S. Model Income Tax Treaty

The Treasury Department announced draft changes for the U.S. Model Income Tax Treaty — the baseline text used by the Treasury Department when it negotiates tax treaties. The current U.S. Model was last updated in 2006. The...more

Supreme Court Rules on Limits of State Taxing Authority – Refund Claims in Order

In Comptroller v. Wynne, the Supreme Court ruled that individuals who earn income in states in which they do not reside may be entitled to refunds if the taxes they pay to the nonresident state are not fully creditable...more

IRS Limits Correction Opportunities under Section 409A Proposed Income Inclusion Regulations and Imposes 20% Penalty

In Chief Counsel Advice 201518013 (May 1, 2015) (the "CCA"), the IRS addresses an executive retention bonus that originally vested after three years and was payable in equal installments on the first two anniversaries of the...more

Coming to America Part II: Legal & Cultural Challenges for Emerging Companies

In our last post “Coming to America Part I,” we discussed why emerging companies would choose enter the US market to do business. In this post, we will discuss the many interrelated legal and cultural factors non-US companies...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: 40 percent. The average combined federal and state tax rate paid by most U.S.-based firms, according to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by James Freeman today, entitled “The Tax Takeover Craze.” Freeman claims...more

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