2016 Cost-of-Living Adjustments

The following is a list of affected sections of the Code and the 2014 limitations of interest to the ESOP community Code Section Description 2016 Limitations 2015 Limitations 401(a)(17) Limit on the amount of annual compensation taken into account $265,000 $265,000 402(g)(1) Limitation on the exclusion for elective deferrals described in Section 402(g)(3) of the Code $18,000 $18,000 409(o)(1)(C)(ii) Dollar amount for determining the maximum account balance in an ESOP subject to 5 year distribution period $1,070,000 $1,070,000 414(q)(1)(B) Limitation used in the definition of “highly compensated employee” $120,000 $120,000 414(v)(2)(B)(i) Dollar limitation for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan other than a plan described in Section 401(k)(11) or Section 408(p) of the Code $6,000 $6,000 415(b)(1)(A) Limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan $215,000 $215,000 415(c)(1)(A) Limitation on the annual contribution and other additions for a defined contribution plan $53,000 $53,000 416(i)(1)(A)(i) Limitation used in ... Read More..

Tax Alert: Capital Gains Rates to Rise

Tax Alert: Capital Gains Rates to Rise This may be the opportune time to take action to avoid the increase in capital gains tax rates that will most likely take effect next year. According to the Kiplinger Tax Letter, Congress will likely increase the tax rate on long term capital gains for high income individuals from 15% to 20% starting next year. In addition, starting in 2013 the Obama Health Care Bill imposes a 3.8% tax on investment income and on capital gains for those who earn more than $250,000. These two tax law changes will result in a capital gains tax rate for 2013 of 23.8%, which is a 59% increase. If you have an interest in locking in the capital gains tax at the current rate but do not wish to sell your entire company to a third party, there are two tax strategies that you can use either to avoid paying the capital gains ... Read More..

S Corporation Rules Involving Section 409(p)

Section 409(P) of the Code, which was enacted as part of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief reconciliation Act of 2001, sets forth anti-abuse rules for ESOPs that are maintained by S corporations.  The following is to summarize the restrictions of Section 409(P), as follows: Basic Rule:  No assets of an ESOP may be allocated (directly or indirectly) for the benefit of any Disqualified Person if, at any time during the plan year, Disqualified Persons, in the aggregate, own 50% or more of the equity of an S corporation.  Thus, the test can be broken down into two steps:  Step One — identifying the Disqualified Persons, and Step 2 — determining whether they own at least 50% of the equity. Consequences:  If an S corporation ESOP fails this test, then the result is a Non-allocation Year. If a Non-allocation Year occurs, then the plan loses its exemption from the unrelated ... Read More..

The ESOP Association 2009 Year-End Legislative Update

S. 1612 – The ESOP Promotion and Improvement Act of 2009: On August 6, 2009, Senator Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR) introduced S. 1612, the ESOP Promotion and Improvement Act of 2009. The legislation has four sections, including an entirely new proposal to remove a 35 year bias against ESOP companies by the Small Business Administration. One, S. 1612 would repeal the punitive 10% penalty tax on S corporations distributions from current earnings, also referred to as dividends, placed on the distributions from current earnings that are passed through to ESOP participants in cash. Two, S.1612 would clarifY that dividends paid by C corporations on ESOP stock are not a preference item in calculating the corporate alternative minimum tax. Three, S. 1612 improves the 1042 ESOP tax deferred rollover provisions by (a.) permitting sellers to the ESOP of an S corporation to utilize the ESOP tax benefit referred to as the ... Read More..

New Law on S-ESOP Prohibited Allocations

MEMORANDUM From: Legal Department Date: January 2008 Subject: Prohibited Allocations in S Corp ESOPs Section 409(p) of the Code, which was enacted as part of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, sets forth anti-abuse rules for ESOPs that are maintained by S corporations. The following is to summarize the restrictions of Section 409(p), as follows: Basic Rule: No assets of an ESOP may be allocated (directly or indirectly) for the benefit of any Disqualified Person if, at any time during the plan year, Disqualified Persons, in the aggregate, own 50% or more of the equity of an S corporation. Thus, the test can be broken down into two steps: Step 1— identifying the Disqualified Persons, and Step 2— determining whether they own at least 50% of the equity. Consequences: If an S corporation ESOP fails this test, then the result is a Nonallocation Year. If a Nonallocation ... Read More..

Highlights Of The Pension Protection Act Of 2006

I. PROVISIONS AFFECTING ESOPS S Corp UBIT Exemption The unrelated business income tax (“UBIT”) exemption that currently applies to S corporation ESOPs, together with the related §409(p) anti-abuse provisions, have been made permanent. These provisions were scheduled to expire at the end of 2010. As the result of PPA, these provisions have been made permanent, and S corporations that sponsor ESOPs will continue to be exempt from income tax and from UBIT to the extent that company stock is held by an ESOPs. ESOP Diversification PPA does not mandate any additional diversification requirements for ESOPs maintained by private companies. Similarly, PPA does not mandate any additional diversification requirements for ESOPs maintained by public companies, provided that the ESOP is a stand-alone plan. The following additional diversification requirements do apply for plan years after December 31, 2006 if the ESOP is maintained by a public company and the ESOP is combined with a ... Read More..

Highlights of EGTRRA 2001

I. INCREASES IN CONTRIBUTION, DEDUCTION AND BENEFIT LIMITS Contribution Deduction Limits. The limit on an employer’s deduction for contributions to a non-leveraged ESOP or a profit sharing plan is increased from 15% to 25% of participants’ aggregate compensation. 401(k) deferrals are not counted for purposes of the deduction limits. However, 401(k) deferrals will be included for purposes of calculating the compensation on which this limit is based. The deduction limit for money purchase pension plans remains at 25%. Effective: Taxable years beginning after 2001. Individual Benefit and Contribution Limits. The dollar limit on “annual additions” to a participant’s account in an ESOP, profit sharing, 401(k) or other defined contribution plan is increased to $40,000 in 2002. The alternative limit of 25% of compensation is increased to 100%. Effective: Limitation years beginning after 2001. Annual Compensation. The maximum annual compensation of a participant that may be used to calculate contributions and ... Read More..

Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001

Comparison of Old and New Provisions Current Law New Law (EGTRRA) I.  Increases in Contribution, Deduction and Benefit Limits Contribution Deduction Limits: An employer’s deduction for contributions (including 401(k) deferral contributions) to a profit sharing or stock bonus plan is limited to 15% of participants’ taxable compensation. The money purchase plan limit is 25%. The 15% deduction limit is increased to 25%. 401(k) deferrals do not count against the limit. Compensation used to determine deductions   includes deferrals. Money purchase plan limit remains at 25%. Effective: Employer’s taxable years beginning after December 31, 2001 Individual Benefit and Contribution Limits: Allocations of employer and employee contributions and forfeitures in a profit sharing, 401(k) or other defined contribution plan cannot be greater than the lesser of (i) 25% of gross pay or (ii) $35,000 (indexed). Allocations of employer and employee contributions and forfeitures cannot be greater than the lesser of (i) 100% of gross pay or (ii) $40,000 (indexed). Effective: Limitation years beginning after December 31, 2001 Annual Compensation: Currently a ... Read More..

New "Required Minimum Distribution" Rules

MEMORANDUM TO: ALL CLIENTS FROM: MENKE & ASSOCIATES, INC. LEGAL DEPARTMENT DATE: JULY 18, 2001 SUBJECT: NEW “REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTION” RULES Depending on the terms of your Plan, participants who are age 70½ or older, are generally required to receive a distribution from the Plan every year. We will refer to this type of a distribution as a “Required Minimum Distribution” or “RMD”. Under the old rules, the annual amount of the RMD was calculated using life expectancy tables, but only after determining the participant’s beneficiary and the beneficiary’s age. In addition, the old rules included a cumbersome election concerning the method of determining the life expectancy. The IRS has recently issued newly proposed rules which adopt a simpler method for calculating the amount of the RMD. In almost all circumstances, one “Uniform Table” will be used for calculating a participant’s RMD. The new calculation rules will no longer consider who ... Read More..

New Requirement on Fidelity Bonding for Qualified Employee Benefit Plans

MEMORANDUM TO: ALL CLIENTS FROM: LEGAL DEPARTMENT DATE: JULY 18, 2001 RE: NEW REQUIREMENTS ON FIDELITY BONDING FOR QUALIFIED EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS I. BACKGROUND Current regulations under ERISA require generally that all Employee Benefit Plans engage an Independent Qualified Public Accountant ( IQPA) to perform an annual audit of the Plan, and to include that accountant’s report as part of the Plan’s annual report. An exemption to this requirement has been given to small pension plans with less than 100 participants generally, due to the cost of an annual independent audit. Due to recent losses to small plans because of fraud or theft on the part of Plan Fiduciaries, the Department of Labor has come under pressure to take steps to insure that small plans assets are protected. In order to take steps to protect the participants of small plans, while not causing undue costs on small plans, the following ... Read More..

Contribution and Allocation Limitations

CONTRIBUTION AND ALLOCATION LIMITATIONS FOR PLAN YEARS ENDING IN 2009 Date: January 2010 C CORPORATION CONTRIBUTION LIMITATIONS (Sec. 404 of the Code): Example: (The Sec. 404 limit is calculated for all employer plans in the aggregate.) Sec. 404 Gross Compensation 1 $245,000.00 Less Sec. 401(k) Salary Reduction 0.00 Less Sec. 125 Salary Reduction 0.00 Net Compensation $245,000.00 x 25% (or 50% if the ESOP is leveraged)2 x 25% Maximum Total Contribution to All Plans 3 $61,250.00 Less Sec. 401(k) Salary Reduction 0.00 Less Employer Matching Contribution ( 2,000.00) Less Employer Discretionary Contribution ( 2,000.00) Maximum ESOP Contribution (Sec. 404) $57,250.00 It should be noted that compensation in excess of $245,000 per individual is excluded for purposes of Sec. 404, but not for purposes of Sec. 415. In the case of C corporation, company contributions are limited to 25% of eligible payroll, provided that the ESOP is not leveraged. If the ESOP is ... Read More..