The Obama Administration’s recently released fiscal year 2014 budget contains several provisions that are less than advantageous as they relate to retirement plans. These provisions are by no means final, however, as Congress has yet to work its way through them.
The proposed budget contains two specific provisions that would greatly reduce the attractiveness of retirement plans to small businesses: Continue reading »
International Tax Series: Know the Basics of Entity Classification and Check-the-Box when Forming or Acquiring a Foreign Company
A U.S. person who plans to form or acquire an ownership interest in a foreign company should be aware of the following U.S. tax requirements. The Form 8832 check-the-box entity classification election can be filed to treat a foreign eligible entity as a pass-through entity for U.S. tax purposes. A foreign entity which is not on the U.S. list of per se foreign corporations is eligible to elect its classification for U.S. tax purposes on the Form 8832. A foreign entity on the U.S. list of per se foreign corporations is not eligible to make the election, and such foreign entity is required to be treated as a foreign corporation for U.S. tax purposes. The list of per se foreign corporations is provided Continue reading »
Retirement plan sponsors and vendors alike will all tell you that nothing in the world of retirement plans is truly simple. This was supported by the findings of the Employee Plans Compliance Unit’s recent SEP Plan Compliance Check project. The project revealed an abundance of errors by both SEP plan sponsors and financial institutions.
A SEP is designed to allow small employers to provide retirement benefits to its employees without getting bogged down in all of the rules associated with the more complex qualified plans like 401(k) plans and the like. SEPs are not subject to the Employee Retirement Income Securities Act of 1974 (ERISA), do not have a 5500 filing requirement with the DOL and their assets are invested in individual retirement accounts (IRAs). While these differences make them far less complex and expensive to administer, contributions to the participants’ account still receive Continue reading »
That depends on who you ask. If you ask an employer that takes their fiduciary obligations seriously, or one that has had problems with their plan in the past, then the audit is very valuable. However, if you ask an employer that is not so in-tune with their fiduciary obligations and views the audit as a commodity that goes to the lowest bidder, then the audit is a hassle and of little or no value.
For many, a benefit plan audit is not an option:
Once a retirement plan falls into the large plan category, an audited financial statement is Continue reading »