Industry & Regulatory NewsIRS Provides Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment as Medical Expense
The IRS has issued Announcement 2021-7, indicating that amounts paid for personal protective equipment (PPE)—such as masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes—that are primarily used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, are treated as amounts paid for medical care under Internal Revenue Code Section 213(d). As a result, the amounts are also eligible to be paid or reimbursed under health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), and health savings accounts (HSAs).
Industry & Regulatory NewsCongress Votes to Extend Paycheck Protection Program
A proposal to extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the end of May has passed the Senate by a vote of 92-7. The PPP was set to expire on March 31, 2021, just weeks after changes were made to expand availability to certain small businesses. The House had voted earlier this month to pass the bill, and it now heads to the President for signature.
Industry & Regulatory NewsMarty Walsh Confirmed as Secretary of Labor
Former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was confirmed on Monday as Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL). In a 68-29 vote, the Senate confirmed Walsh to take over the DOL as the coronavirus pandemic has left millions unemployed amid economic uncertainty.
News ReleasesAscensus Acquires Health & Welfare Form 5500 Preparation and Plan Document Services Business from ABV Advisors
Book-of-Business Transaction Boosts Ascensus' Compliance Expertise While Increasing Client Base for Health & Welfare Form 5500 Solutions
Industry & Regulatory NewsIRS Announces Extension to File Tax Return
The Treasury Department and IRS have announced that tax filing due dates for 2020 tax year federal income tax returns, including the federal income tax payment deadline, will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. No special form must be filed to request the filing extension. The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.
Industry & Regulatory NewsIRS Issues Deadline Relief for Louisiana Victims of Winter Storms
The IRS has issued a news release announcing the postponement of certain tax-related deadlines for Louisiana winter storm victims. The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on February 11. The entire state of Louisiana is included in this relief. Taxpayers in other locations will automatically be added to this relief if the disaster area is further expanded.
Industry & Regulatory NewsIRS Provides Updated Draft Withholding Forms
The IRS has made available a third early release 2022 tax year draft Form W-4P, Withholding Certificate for Periodic Pension or Annuity Payments. The IRS indicated previously that the form will be split into two forms. Form W-4P will continue to be used, but only to withhold federal income tax from periodic retirement plan and IRA payments. Periodic payments are installment payments at regular intervals generally over a period of more than one year.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: American Rescue Plan Act Provides Coronavirus Relief
President Biden has signed legislation that funds another round of assistance as the nation copes with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Several previous bills in 2020 provided direct cash benefits to Americans, created a small business lending program to help employers retain employees, and provided enhanced access to tax-favored retirement savings.
Industry & Regulatory NewsLatest Pandemic Relief Legislation Signed Into Law
President Biden has signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act one day after the House of Representatives voted to pass the amended package. Several provisions directly affect tax-advantaged savings arrangements.
Industry & Regulatory NewsDOL Announces Non-Enforcement of ESG and Proxy Rules
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a statement that it will not enforce two final rules that were issued late in 2020. One rule, “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments,” was published November 13, 2020, and effective January 12, 2021. This rule codified requirements for fiduciaries to consider regarding the promotion of nonfinancial objectives when selecting plan investments, generally requiring investment selection to be predicated on financial or "pecuniary" factors.