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IRS Finalizes Regulations Simplifying 83(b) Filing Requirements

On July 23rd of last year, I blogged on a set of proposed regulations eliminating the requirement that a taxpayer attach a copy of his or her Section 83(b) election to their individual tax return.  This July, the IRS made the proposed rule final and the final regulations eliminate the requirement that a taxpayer attach […]

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Transitioning to Coverage: Three Things to Know About the New Transgender Healthcare Regulations

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued final regulations implementing the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act. As we discussed in our March 30, 2016 blog, the rule prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity in the provision of health programs.  In application, the final […]

Five Lawsuits Filed Against DOL’s Fiduciary Rule (so far)

As we previously discussed in our May 19, 2016 SW Benefits Update, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued final regulations on fiduciary conflicts of interest in retirement programs.  Since 2010 when the DOL first proposed regulations addressing self-interested advice to retirement plan and IRA participants, the rule has been widely criticized by some in […]


EAPs That Meet Four Requirements May Avoid Application of Health Care Reform

Benefits provided through an employee assistance program (“EAP”) may be considered group health plan coverage, which would subject the EAP to the health care reform requirements mandated by HIPAA and the Health Care Reform Act, unless the EAP meets the criteria for being “excepted benefits.” In September 2013, the IRS, HHS, and DOL collectively issued […]

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Final Regs on Health Care Reform Large Employer Penalties May Help Employers Who Hire Employees From Staffing Firms

As explained in my Checklist for Employers, a large employer will have to pay a subsection (a) penalty for any month if it does not offer “minimum essential coverage” (“MEC”) to substantially all (i.e., 70% for 2015 and 95% for future years) of its full-time employees and their dependents if one or more full-time employees […]


IRS Clarifies Conditions that Constitute a Substantial Risk of Forfeiture Under Section 83

The IRS recently released final regulations (“Final Regulations”) clarifying the conditions that constitute a substantial risk of forfeiture for purposes of Section 83 of the Internal Revenue Code.  As some of you know, Section 83 generally provides that property transferred in connection with the performance of services will be not be taxed until the date […]


What the heck is MEC?

Health care reform is confusing.  There are so many new terms and concepts.  One concept that has been getting a lot of attention lately is MEC.  MEC stands for “minimum essential coverage” and is a fancy name for basic health coverage. MEC is important for two main reasons — First, starting in 2014, individuals who don’t […]


Final Regs on Health Care Reform Large Employer Penalties Keep Many Transition Rules

The proposed regulations included many helpful transition rules.  Although I hoped that the transition rules would be extended, I really didn’t think they would be.  The good news is — I thought wrong.  A package of limited transition rules that applied to 2014 under the proposed regulations has been extended to 2015, including: Special 6 […]

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Final Regs on Health Care Reform Large Employer Penalties Include New Transition Relief Easing Employers Into Compliance

The IRS issued final regulations implementing the employer shared responsibility penalties on February 12, 2014.  As promised in an earlier post, I have updated our Checklist for Employers to reflect the final regulations.  Although the Checklist explains many of the transition rules, below is a summary of what I think are two of the most […]