Recap of IRS Employee Plans 2011 1st Quarter Guidance

April 10, 2011

Keeping on top of the employee plan guidance published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other relevant agencies can be critical to efforts of plan sponsors, fiduciaries, administrators and other service provider’s ability to anticipate plan design or other actions needed to maintain compliance or manage other concerns.  The following is a recap of the more significant the IRS Employee Plan guidance published by the IRS between January 1 and March 31, 2011. 

  • Notice 2011-33, 2011-19 I.R.B.Updates for the corporate bond weighted average interest rate for plan years beginning in April 2011; the 24-month average segment rates; the funding transitional segment rates applicable for April 2011; and the minimum present value transitional rates for March 2011.
  • Notice 2011-22, 2011-12 I.R.B. 557Updates for the corporate bond weighted average interest rate for plan years beginning in March 2011; the 24-month average segment rates; the funding transitional segment rates applicable for March 2011; and the minimum present value transitional rates for February 2011.
  • Announcement 2011-21, 2011-12 I.R.B. 567This announcement designates Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits, as the form to be used to satisfy the reporting requirements of §6057(a) of the Code for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2009, and sets forth the due dates for filing the form for the 2009 plan year and subsequent plan years. .
  • Notice 2011-19, 2011-11 I.R.B. 550: This notice provides guidance regarding when securities of the employer are readily tradable on an established securities market or readily tradable on an established market for purposes of certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code relating to employer securities held by certain qualified retirement plans. .
  • Announcement 2011-16, 2011-7 IRB 500This announcement corrects a typographical error in Rev. Rul. 2011-3.
  • Rev. Rul 2011-7, 2011-10 I.R.B.This revenue ruling provides guidance clarifying how the section 403(b) plan termination provisions apply. .
  • Announcement 2011-8, 2011-5 IRB 446This announcement corrects an error in Rev. Proc. 2011-8 in the user fee schedule that applies to a non-mass submitter of a master or prototype (M&P) plan.
  • Notice 2011-13, 2011-9 I.R.B. 529Updates for the corporate bond weighted average interest rate for plan years beginning in February 2011; the 24-month average segment rates; the funding transitional segment rates applicable for February 2011; and the minimum present value transitional rates for January 2011.
  • Notice 2011-7, 2011-5 I.R.B. 437Updates for the corporate bond weighted average interest rate for plan years beginning in January 2011; the 24-month average segment rates; the funding transitional segment rates applicable for January 2011; and the minimum present value transitional rates for December 2010.
  • Notice 2011-3, 2011-2 IRB 263The notice provides guidance on the special rules relating to funding relief for single-employer defined benefit pension plans (including multiple employer defined benefit pension plans) under the Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare. Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010 (PRA 2010), Pub. L. No. 111-192.
  • Rev. Rul. 2011-3, 2011-4 I.R.B. 326The covered compensation tables under Code §401 for the year 2011 are provided to determine contributions to defined benefit plans and permitted disparity.
  • Rev. Proc. 2011-4, 2011-1 I.R.B. 123Annual EP/EO revenue procedure on letter rulings.
  • Rev. Proc. 2011-5, 2011-1 I.R.B. 167Annual EP/EO revenue procedure on technical advice.
  • Rev. Proc. 2011-6, 2011-1 I.R.B. 195Annual EP determination letter revenue procedure.
  • Rev. Proc. 2011-8, 2011-1 I.R.B. 237Annual EP/EO revenue procedure on user fees.

For Help With These Or Other Risk Management Matters

If you need assistance in accessing, assessing or auditing,  updating or defending your employee benefit or compensation arrangements and practices in response to this recent guidance or with other labor and employment, employee benefit, compensation or internal controls practices, please contact the author of this update, attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer here or at (469)767-8872.

Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, management attorney and consultant Ms. Stamer is nationally and internationally recognized for more than 23 years of work helping employers; employee benefit plans and their sponsors, administrators, fiduciaries; employee leasing, recruiting, staffing and other professional employment organizations; and others design, administer and defend innovative workforce, compensation, employee benefit  and management policies and practices. Her experience includes extensive work helping employers implement, audit, manage and defend wage and hour and other workforce and internal controls policies, procedures and actions.  The Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) RPTE Employee Benefits & Other Compensation Committee, a Council Representative on the ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, Government Affairs Committee Legislative Chair for the Dallas Human Resources Management Association, and past Chair of the ABA Health Law Section Managed Care & Insurance Interest Group, Ms. Stamer works, publishes and speaks extensively on wage and hour, worker classification and other human resources and workforce, employee benefits, compensation, internal controls and related matters.  She also is recognized for her publications, industry leadership, workshops and presentations on these and other human resources concerns and regularly speaks and conducts training on these matters. Her insights on these and other matters appear in the Bureau of National Affairs, Spencer Publications, the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Business Journal, the Houston Business Journal, and many other national and local publications. For additional information about Ms. Stamer and her experience or to access other publications by Ms. Stamer see here or contact Ms. Stamer directly.

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©2011 Cynthia Marcotte Stamer.  Non-exclusive right to republish granted to Solutions Law Press.  All other rights reserved.


IRS Updates Procedures Qualifying Small Employers Can Use To Qualify To Report Employment Taxes Annually Rather Than Quarterly

October 27, 2009

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today published updated procedures governing when certain employers may elect to report social security, Medicare and withheld federal income taxes (employment taxes) annually by filing IRS Form 944, rather than reporting those amounts quarterly for tax years beginning after December 31, 2009. 

Beginning in the 2010 tax year, Revenue Procedure 2009-51 will allow qualifying employers to opt out of filing Form 944 social security, Medicare and withheld federal income taxes (“employment taxes”) for any reason if they follow the procedures set forth in Revenue Procedure 2009-51 by the applicable deadline specified in the Revenue Procedure.  The procedures set forth in Revenue Procedure 2009-51 generally are available only to employers are those with an estimated annual employment tax liability of $1,000 or less for the entire calendar year, other than employers required to make a return on Form 943, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return For Agricultural Employees, or on Schedule H (Form 1040), Household Employment Taxes.

Revenue Procedure 2009-51 outlines the procedures that qualified employers can apply to report employment taxes annually on the Form 944.  Employers wishing to take advantage of this option must request to file the Form 944 by contacting the IRS as specified in Revenue Procedure 2009-51 and have received the written approval of their request from the IRS before using the Form 944 by the applicable deadline.  Alternatively employers who previously received notification of their qualification to file Form 944 must continue to file Form 944 unless the IRS notifies the employer that the employer no longer qualifies to file Form 944 or the employer opts out consistent with the procedures set forth in Revenue Procedure 2009-51.

Employers electing to report employment taxes annually rather than quarterly should ensure that they continue to timely deposit employment taxes as required by the Internal Revenue Code.  Generally, the same deposit rules apply to employers regardless of which form they file to report their employment tax liability; however, the de minimis deposit amount may be different. Employers who file Forms 941 and 944 still must deposit their employment tax liability in accordance with the rules in Treas. Reg. §§ 31.6302-1 and 31.6302-1T or, absent reasonable cause, the employers may be subject to the penalty for failure to deposit under section 6656.

Qualifying employers wishing to make elections under these rules must act in a timely fashion.  An employer wishing to request to opt in or out of filing Form 944 for the current tax year via telephone generally must call the IRS at the designated number on or before April 1st of the current tax year (e.g., April 1, 2010 for returns for tax year 2010); written requests generally must be postmarked on or before March 15th of the current tax year (e.g., March 15, 2010 for returns for tax year 2010).  Special deadlines apply for businesses that recently received an employer identification number or had an employer identification number but were not previously required to file Forms 941 or Form 944.  Consult your tax advisor if you have questions about these deadlines. 

If you have questions about or need assistance evaluating, commenting on or responding to these or other employment, compensation, employee benefit, workplace health and safety, corporate ethics and compliance practices, concerns or claims, please contact the author of this article, Curran Tomko Tarski LLP Labor & Employment Practice Group Chair Cynthia Marcotte Stamer.  Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and Chair of the American Bar Association RPTE Employee Benefits & Other Compensation Group, Ms. Stamer is experienced with assisting employers and others about compliance with federal and state employment, compensation and employee benefit, workplace safety, and other labor and employment, as well as advising and defending employers and others against tax, employment discrimination and other labor and employment, and other related audits, investigations and litigation, charges, audits, claims and investigations by the IRS, Department of Labor and other federal and state regulators. Ms. Stamer has advised and represented employers on these and other labor and employment, compensation, employee benefit and other personnel and staffing matters for more than 20 years. Ms. Stamer also speaks and writes extensively on these and other related matters. For additional information about Ms. Stamer and her experience or to access other publications by Ms. Stamer see here or contact Ms. Stamer directly.   For additional information about the experience and services of Ms. Stamer and other members of the Curran Tomko Tarksi LLP team, see here.

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IRS Gives Underfunded Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plans More Time to Make WRERA Elections

May 2, 2009

On March 27, 2009, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2009-31, 2009-16 I.R.B. 856, providing guidance to multiemployer defined plans making elections described in sections 204 and 205 of the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008, P.L. 110-458 (WRERA).  These elections relate to provisions of Section 432 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) by the Pension Protection Act of 2006, P.L. 109-280 (PPA) that impose requirements on multiemployer defined benefit plans that are significantly underfunded.  

Notice 2009-42 to be published at I.R.B. 2009-20 on May 18, 2009, extends the time period for making elections described in section 204 of the WRERA. In addition, if (1) as of the otherwise applicable deadline (i.e., the deadline for a plan as modified by this notice) for making an election under section 204 or 205, a plan sponsor has been unable to reach agreement as to whether to make the election, so that the decision must be resolved through an arbitration process; (2) the plan sponsor makes an election by the otherwise applicable deadline that is contingent on the resolution of the arbitration; and (3) the resolution is to not make an election, then the IRS will automatically approve a request to revoke the election.

Cynthia Marcotte Stamer and other members of Curren Tomko and Tarski LLP are experienced with advising and assisting employers with these and other labor and employment, employee benefit, compensation, and internal controls matters. If your organization needs assistance with assessing, managing or defending its wage and hour or other labor and employment, compensation or benefit practices, please contact Ms. Stamer at e-mail, (214) 270-2402; or your favorite Curren Tomko Tarski, LLP attorney.  For additional information about the experience and services of Ms. Stamer and other members of the Curren Tomko Tarksi, LLP team, see the Curren Tomko Tarski Website or Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, P.C. Website.

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We hope that this information is useful to you. You can register to receive future updates and information about upcoming programs, access other publications by Ms. Stamer and access other helpful resources at CynthiaStamer.com For additional information about Ms. Stamer and her experience, see here or contact Ms. Stamer directly. If you or someone else you know would like to receive updates about developments on these and other human resources and employee benefits concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail- by creating or updating your profile at CynthiaStamer.com.  If you would prefer not to receive these updates, please send a reply e-mail with “Remove” in the subject line to support@SolutionsLawyer.net. You also can register to participate in the distribution of these updates by registering to participate in the Solutions Law Press HR & Benefits Update Blog here.