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1. Federal courts disagree on premium tax credits through federal exchanges  

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The IRS will continue processing credit claims despite one circuit’s decision overruling a key Affordable Care Act provision.The appellate courts for the D.C. Circuit and the Fourth Circuit issued conflicting decisions on July 22 regarding the availability of the Sec. 36B premium tax credit for taxpayers who purchase health insurance on exchanges set up by the federal government.

2. Tax relief for small employer retirement plans  

BY John W. McKinley, CPA, CGMA, J.D., LL.M. and Kyle Datoush
To avoid the expense of establishing a retirement plan, many small employers have left their employees on their own when it comes to saving for retirement. However, the small employer pension plan startup costs credit under Sec. 45E alleviates some of the burden by allowing a credit for establishing a qualifying retirement plan; although in some circumstances, taxpayers might find it more beneficial to take a deduction instead.

3. Vision, dental, and long-term-care benefits qualify as limited excepted benefits under new IRS rules  

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
Dental, vision, and long-term-care benefits will qualify as excepted benefits under final regulations issued by the IRS (T.D. 9697). Excepted benefits are not subject to certain health reform requirements enacted as part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), P.L. 104-191, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), P.L.

4. Doctors lack standing to challenge delay of employer mandate   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a suit objecting to the IRS’s decision to delay imposing the Sec. 4980H employer mandate penalty until 2015 (Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc., No. 14-2123 (7th Cir. 9/19/14), aff’g No. 13-C-1214 (E.D. Wis. 3/18/14)).Under Sec. 4980H, an applicable large employer is subject to a penalty if its employer-sponsored health coverage does not provide “minimum essential coverage” or is not affordable relative to the employee’s household income and at least one full-time employee has been certified as having enrolled in a qualified health plan with respect to which an

5. IRS announces proposed changes to cafeteria plan elections and lookback period   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The IRS issued two notices on Thursday, proposing to change the rules for when a taxpayer can revoke health care coverage in a cafeteria plan and enroll in a plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace exchanges, and how to measure the lookback period for determining who is a full-time employee when an employee moves positions within the same employer group.

6. Changes proposed to allocation rules for rollovers   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The IRS says it has become aware that some plan providers have been treating disbursements from retirement plans that contain both pretax and after-tax contributions as a single distribution of the aggregate disbursement amount, rather than as separate distributions, as required by the regulations. In proposed regulations issued on Thursday (REG-105739-11) and Notice 2014-54, the IRS gave its blessing to this treatment, providing rules on how to allocate pre- and after-tax amounts distributed from IRAs, including Roth IRAs, to multiple destinations.

7. Regulations update hybrid defined benefit plan rules   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
On Monday, the IRS released final and proposed regulations providing guidance on so-called hybrid defined benefit pension plans (T.D. 9693 and REG-111839-13). The regulations deal with changes made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006, P.L. 109-280, and the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008, P.L.

8. ERISA: 40 years later  

BY Rebecca J. Miller, CPA, Robert A. Lavenberg, CPA, J.D. and Ian A. MacKay, CPA, CGMA
Forty years ago, Congress passed landmark legislation to protect workers’ pensions from abuses. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which President Gerald Ford signed into law on Labor Day, Sept. 2, 1974, greatly expanded the federal government’s role in regulating private-sector retirement plans and made the government the guarantor of private pensions by creating the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

9. High-functioning firms  

BY Jennifer Wilson
High-functioning firms have leadership teams that assess situations, develop strategies, and make and execute decisions with relative ease, speed, and success. Others, however, function with a drag that pulls against their momentum, causing the business of leading, managing, and executing to take longer and produce less-than-stellar results. High-functioning firms seem to share the following eight attributes: Operate with vision.

10. The Sec. 4980H assessable payment for large employers  

BY Benjamin Pruett, J.D.
Employers near the threshold of 50 full-time and full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs) or with a high proportion of seasonal workers should be taking measures now to record employees’ daily hours of service and other data relevant to the Sec. 4980H assessable payment for large employers regarding minimum essential health coverage.
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