EBSA increases penalties for ERISA violations
Any employer that sponsors a pension plan or a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k), is undoubtedly familiar with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The law also applies to employer-sponsored health maintenance organization plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, and life and disability insurance. Established in 1974, ERISA holds plan fiduciaries responsible for their actions related to the maintenance of applicable benefits plans. The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), is required by law to annually adjust ERISA penalties for inflation. This year, effective for penalties assessed after January 14, 2022, the
The 401(k) contribution limit will increase in 2022
The IRS recently announced that the amount individuals can contribute to their 401(k) plans will increase in 2022. The tax agency has also announced other cost‑of‑living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and retirement-related items for tax year 2022. Let’s look at some highlights. Rising limit First and foremost, the contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b) and most 457 plans, as well as the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan, will increase to $20,500. That’s up from $19,500 in 2020 and 2021. The catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and over who participate in the plans mentioned remains
Are you ready for the upcoming audit season?
An external audit is less stressful and less intrusive if you anticipate your auditor’s document requests. Auditors typically ask clients to provide similar documents year after year. They’ll accept copies or client-prepared schedules for certain items, such as bank reconciliations and fixed asset ledgers. To verify other items, such as leases, invoices and bank statements, they’ll want to see original source documents. What does change annually is the sample of transactions that auditors randomly select to test your account balances. The element of surprise is important because it keeps bookkeepers honest. Anticipate questions Accounting personnel can also prepare for audit
Private companies: Are you on track to meet the 2022 deadline for the updated lease standard?
Updated accounting rules for long-term leases took effect in 2019 for public companies. Now, after several deferrals by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), private companies and private not-for-profit entities must follow suit, starting in fiscal year 2022. The updated guidance requires these organizations to report — for the first time — the full magnitude of their long-term lease obligations on the balance sheet. Here are the details. Temporary reprieves In 2019, the FASB deferred Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), to 2021 for private entities. Then, in 2020, the FASB granted another extension to the effective date of
2021 individual taxes: Answers to your questions about limits
Many people are more concerned about their 2020 tax bills right now than they are about their 2021 tax situations. That’s understandable because your 2020 individual tax return is due to be filed in less than three months (unless you file an extension). However, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with tax amounts that may have changed for 2021. Below are some Q&As about tax amounts for this year. Be aware that not all tax figures are adjusted annually for inflation and even if they are, they may be unchanged or change only slightly due to low inflation. In
Need another PPP loan for your small business? Here are the new rules
Congress recently passed, and President Trump signed, a new law providing additional relief for businesses and individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. One item of interest for small business owners in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) is the opportunity to take out a second loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The basics The CAA permits certain smaller businesses who received a PPP loan to take out a “PPP Second Draw Loan” of up to $2 million. To qualify, you must: Employ no more than 300 employees per physical location, Have used or will use the full amount of your first PPP
Employees: Don’t forget about your FSA funds
Many employees take advantage of the opportunity to save taxes by placing funds in their employer’s health or dependent care flexible spending arrangements (FSAs). As the end of 2020 nears, here are some rules and reminders to keep in mind. Health FSAs A pre-tax contribution of $2,750 to a health FSA is permitted in both 2020 and 2021. You save taxes because you use pre-tax dollars to pay for medical expenses that might not be deductible. For example, they wouldn’t be deductible if you don’t itemize deductions on your tax return. Even if you do itemize, medical expenses must exceed
The QBI deduction basics and a year-end tax tip that might help you qualify
If you own a business, you may wonder if you’re eligible to take the qualified business income (QBI) deduction. Sometimes this is referred to as the pass-through deduction or the Section 199A deduction. The QBI deduction: Is available to owners of sole proprietorships, single member limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships, and S corporations, as well as trusts and estates. Is intended to reduce the tax rate on QBI to a rate that’s closer to the corporate tax rate. Is taken “below the line.” In other words, it reduces your taxable income but not your adjusted gross income. Is available regardless
2021 dollar limits and thresholds for 401(k)s and similar plans
The IRS recently announced the 2021 dollar limits and thresholds for retirement plans, reflecting the latest cost-of-living adjustments. Here are some relevant amounts for 401(k)s and similar plans: Annual contributions. The limit on annual contributions to 401(k) and other defined contribution plans will increase to $58,000 (up from $57,000 for 2020). Compensation. The annual limit on compensation that can be taken into account for contributions and deductions will increase to $290,000 (up from $285,000). Elective deferrals. The annual limit on elective deferrals will remain at $19,500 for 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans, as well as for Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension
What tax records can you throw away?
Now that you’re finally done filing last year’s return, you might wonder: Which tax records can you toss out? Now is a good time to go through old tax records and see what you can discard. The general rules At minimum, you should keep tax records for as long as the IRS has the ability to audit your tax return or assess additional taxes, which generally is three years after you file your return. This means you potentially can get rid of most records related to tax returns for 2016 and earlier years. However, the statute of limitations extends to