Safe Harbors

News & Analysis as of

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 37: Stalking the Elusive “Variable Hour Employee”

For “applicable large employers” (i.e., generally, those employers who employed an average of at least 50 full-time employees on business days during the preceding calendar year), determining which employees are “full-time”...more

April 2014: EU Litigation Update

License Agreements Under Scrutiny—A New Challenge for Non-Challenge Clauses. In general, license agreements are deemed pro-competitive. Licensing leads to the dissemination of technology and promotes (follow on) innovation...more

Oops, I Forgot To Distribute A Safe Harbor Notice For My Company's 401(k) Plan, Now What?

The Internal Revenue Service often publishes correction methods for common errors involving qualified retirement plan administration issues. One of the most common errors is failing to notify eligible employees of their safe...more

New Guidance – Is that Rollover Contribution Valid?

Since 1992, the ability to move retirement money from one qualified plan to another qualified plan or individual retirement account has been simplified. One hiccup in this easing process has been determining the level of due...more

IRS Offers Two New Due Diligence Safe Harbor Procedures for Accepting Rollovers into Qualified Plans

On April 3, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service released Revenue Ruling 2014-9 (the Ruling), which provides guidance helpful to the administration of rollovers by tax-qualified retirement plans by...more

ADEA Safe Harbor Unsafe

In 1945, an employer and unions created a pension plan that provided equal pensions to all workers retiring at age 65 but capped the employer’s contributions. The result was that workers who joined the plan later in life,...more

After Boardwalk: The IRS Issues Safe Harbor Guidance for Historic Tax Credit Transactions

Immediately upon its publication, The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit’s decision in Historic Boardwalk Hall, LLC v. Commissioner, 694 F.3d 425 (3d Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 2734 (2013) put...more

Delayed Discovery Cannot Cure Defective Pre-Litigation Investigations for Proposition 65 Suits

A California appellate court recently determined that a consumer group’s failure to conduct required pre-litigation investigations of several restaurant chains’ alleged Proposition 65 violations warranted dismissal of the...more

New IRS Guidance Offers Insight Regarding Covered Transactions Under the Transaction Cost Regulations

When the IRS released the transaction cost regulations of Treas. Reg. 1.263(a)-5, a new term was created: “covered transaction.” Unlike the treatment of a covered transaction in a tax shelter context, which is generally...more

The DMCA: Seeking Safe Harbor in a Sea of Troubles

Détente can be a beautiful thing. However, as demonstrated by the recent settlement agreement between Mega-media giants Google and Viacom, achieving it can be very expensive. In 2007, Viacom filed suit against YouTube...more

Employee Benefits: Is Your Health Plan Premium Affordable Under The ACA?

By now, most large employers are aware that they are required to offer "affordable" health care coverage to their full-time employees beginning in 2015 in order to avoid potential penalties under the shared responsibility...more

Complying With The Tangible Property Regulations – Procedural Guidance Provides Favorable Rules That Require Immediate...

Late last year, the IRS and Treasury Department released final and proposed regulations that affect the tax treatment of costs associated with plants, buildings, equipment, and machinery. These rules affect the costs...more

Defendant Fails to Meet Safe Harbor Standards with Deletion of Metadata (California)

Gardner v. Cafepress, Inc., 2014 WL 794216 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 26, 2014). In this copyright case, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant infringed on the plaintiff’s copyrights to an image and sought the seizure and/or...more

Online Product Management Beyond DMCA Safe Harbor

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was in large part designed to help content providers prevent copyright infringement on the Internet. Nonetheless, a countervailing concernt is firmly embedded into its text. In...more

IRS Addresses Correction Method For Failure To Timely Provide Safe Harbor 401(k) Notice

In its retirement plan newsletter, the IRS stated that plan sponsors of safe harbor 401(k) plans who fail to issue safe harbor notices to employees on a timely basis may be required to make different corrections for different...more

Is An Employee Who Is Six Days out of Rehab “Disabled” Under the TCHRA?

The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA) provides that a “current condition of addiction” to alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances is not a covered “disability.” In Melendez v. Houston Independent School District...more

FDA Updates Reprint Guidance, Reiterates Narrowness of Off-Label Safe-Harbor

FDA updates its recommendations for distribution of reprints, making requirements more specific and addressing additional types of materials typically distributed....more

European Union: Assessment Of IP Licensing Agreements Under EU Competition Law*

In recent years there has been a remarkable expansion of antitrust enforcement in the area of intellectual property (IP). This trend is illustrated by an increasing willingness of the European Commission (the Commission) and...more

IRS Changes Course And Provides Safe Harbor For "Real Estate Professionals" In Net Investment Tax Final Regulations

Section 1411 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the "ACA") levies a new 3.8% tax on "net investment income" (the "NII Tax"). Among other things, the net investment income subject to the NII Tax includes...more

Kid Gamers: Safe Harbors for Video Game Providers

As online social gaming becomes more pervasive in the lives of children today, it is vital for video game providers to understand and comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”). The COPPA...more

OIG Approves Medigap Policy Contracts with Preferred Hospital Networks

On February 20, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released Advisory Opinion 14-02, concerning the use of preferred hospital networks as part of certain Medicare Supplemental...more

Final ACA Shared Responsibility Regulations Released

Plan sponsors now have the final piece of the puzzle needed to finalize their 2015 pay-or-play strategies. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury recently issued the highly...more

IRS Provides Discharge of Indebtedness Safe Harbor for Debt Secured by Interest in Disregarded Entity Holding Real Property

In general, discharge of indebtedness income is excluded from the gross income of a taxpayer (other than a C corporation) if the indebtedness is qualified real property business indebtedness (QRPBI). To qualify as QRPBI, the...more

IRS Final Rule Partially Delays ACA Employer Shared Responsibility Requirement

On January 10, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations governing the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The final rule addresses application of the...more

Domestic Anti-Treaty-Shopping Proposals and Further Consultation Announced in Canada's Federal Budget 2014

In the Canadian Federal Budget released on February 11, 2014, the Department of Finance signaled its intention to enact a domestic treaty-shopping rule, generally allowing the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to deny treaty...more

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