Business Insights, Research & Perspectives

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August 13, 2013

IRS Modifies Guidance for Deferring Income on Gift Card Sales to Reflect Evolving Use (article)

The IRS has modified 2011 guidance allowing taxpayers that sell gift cards redeemable for goods or services by an unrelated entity to defer income on those sales. Rev. Proc. 2013-29 modifies Rev. Proc. 2011-18.

August 8, 2013

Obesity Deemed a Disease, says the AMA

In June, during its annual House of Delegates meeting, the American Medical Association adopted a policy recognizing obesity as “a disease requiring a range of medical interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention”.  What implications this may have for the administration of employee benefit plans and employment practices, if any, will surely evolve over the months and years to come. 

August 8, 2013

Comparative Investment Chart for Retirement Plan Participants: A One-time Opportunity Looms

Last year, the Department of Labor’s rules requiring fee disclosures to qualified retirement plan participants went into effect (for background information about these disclosure requirements, please refer to the December 2011, July 2012,  and August 2012 editions of At Issue).  These rules are intended to provide plan participants with regular information about fees that are assessed against their investments. 

August 8, 2013

Repeal of Massachusetts Fair Share Contribution Requirement and Employer HIRD Reporting

On July 12, 2013, Massachusetts Governor Patrick signed a law (H3538) that repeals the so-called fair shared contribution requirement.  As background, the Commonwealth enacted a universal health care coverage law in 2006. This law provides for an individual mandate, as well as four employer mandates including the fair share contribution requirement, a health insurance disclosure obligation, the maintenance of a Section 125 cafeteria plan, and a free rider surcharge. 

July 29, 2013

North Carolina Enacts Major Tax Reform Legislation (article)

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has signed a major tax reform bill that replaces the graduated personal income tax rates with a flat tax, lowers the corporate income tax rate, limits the adjustments to federal adjusted gross income for purposes of calculating North Carolina personal income tax liability, extends the research and development credit, and repeals numerous credits against personal and corporate income taxes. Other substantial changes were made to sales and use taxes and motor fuel and estate taxes.

July 27, 2013

Trends in Healthcare Medical Group Practice – Bigger Can Be Better and Smarter (article)

With ongoing consolidations and mergers in the healthcare industry, and the inherent benefits that those mergers can provide, physician practice leaders may be tempted to aggressively enter into a transaction without performing the requisite due diligence. 

July 25, 2013

IRS' Latest Compliance Check Program Targets 457(b) Plans (article)

In June 2013, the IRS' Employee Plans Compliance Unit launched a Section 457(b) Plan Compliance Check Questionnaire Program aimed at helping the IRS understand compliance related to non-profits' 457(b) plans.

July 22, 2013

Florida Creates Sales Tax Exemption for Manufacturing Equipment (article)

Governor Rick Scott recently enacted Florida HB 7007 to create a sales tax exemption for industrial machinery and equipment purchased by manufacturers. Effective April 30, 2014, purchases of industrial machinery and equipment used by an eligible manufacturing business at a fixed location in Florida to manufacture, process, compound, or produce for sale items of tangible personal property will be exempt from sales tax.

July 16, 2013

IRS Announces Six-Month Extension to Start of FATCA Withholding Requirements

The IRS and Treasury Department announced on July 12 a six-month extension to the start of some withholding and account due diligence requirements under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) (P.L. 111-147). The extension will enable the U.S. to enter into FATCA agreements with more foreign jurisdictions, a Treasury official said during a conference call with reporters. An online FATCA registration site will open by August 19, 2013, the official added.
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