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CARES Act Changes Rules Governing Retirement Plans

Among the many other provisions of the CARES Act are those impacting retirement plans (including 401(k)s, profit sharing plans, and IRAs) in order to provide an influx of cash to struggling employees.

Tax Favored Distributions
In calendar year 2020, an individual (including a self – employed individual) who is either diagnosed with SARS-CoV2 or COVID-19, has a family member diagnosed with SARS-CoV2 or COVID-19, or experiences adverse financial consequences due to quarantine, furlough, layoff, reduced work hours, or is unable to work due to lack of child care, may take a distribution of up to $100,000 in any taxable year. An employer may accept an employee’s certification that the request is due to one of these reasons.

Unless the employee chooses otherwise, the distribution will be included in his income ratably over three (3) years. Additionally, over a three (3) year period that begins on the day after the distribution occurs the employee may repay (in one or more payments) any amounts which they received as a distribution under this provision. These repayments shall not count against the contribution limits for the plan year.

Loans from Qualified Plans
Loans issued from qualified plans during the next six (6) months shall have their limits increased to the lesser of $100,000 or 100% of their vested account balance.

Current loans shall have repayments delayed with all interest accrued during the delay being forgiven and the five (5) year rule for loans being disregarded. Any payments due on or before December 31, 2020, shall be delayed for one (1) year. Any remaining payments shall have their due date adjusted as a result of the delay. 

Temporary Waiver of Required Minimum Distributions
For calendar year 2020, RMDs from 401(k)s, profit sharing plans, 403(b)s, 457(b) and IRAs shall be waived if the taxpayers required beginning date is in 2020 and the distribution was not made before January 1, 2020. 

Plan Amendments
Plan amendments that are required due to the implementation of these provisions must be made on or before the last day of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2022.

For questions, or more information, please contact Priscilla A. Grant, BMD Business, Corporate and Tax Member at pag@bmdllc.com or 330.253.5934.

HHS Announces an Additional $20 Billion In Provider Relief Grants

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced an additional $20 billion in new funding for providers on October 1, 2020. Eligible providers include those that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments as well as previously ineligible providers, such as those who began practicing in 2020, and an expanded group of behavioral health providers confronting the emergence of increased mental health and substance use issues exacerbated by the pandemic. The new Phase 3 General Distribution is designed to balance an equitable payment of 2% of annual revenue from patient care for all applicants plus an add-on payment to account for revenue losses and expenses attributable to COVID-19.

DOL Proposes New Rule Regarding Independent Contractor Status - But How Will the Election Affect Its Future?

On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a new proposed rule regarding employee and independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The full text of the proposed rule is available here. The rule's drafters intend to reduce uncertainty and enhance the precision and predictability of the long-standing "economic reality" test, which currently relies on a multifactor balancing test.

Major Change to Franklin County, Ohio Eviction Process: Landlord Testimony Required

Although there is currently a nationwide temporary halt on all residential evictions through December 31, 2020 in place, the eviction process in Franklin County – which processes the highest number of evictions in the State of Ohio at approximately 18,000 a year – recently changed significantly.

UPDATE: Governor Dewine Signs HB 606 Granting Short Window of Immunity from COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuits

The Ohio General Assembly, in Am. Sub. H.B. No. 606, is in the final stages of passing a law that will prohibit lawsuits seeking damages from COVID-19. This includes injury, death, or loss to person or property if the lawsuits are based, in whole or in part, on the exposure to, or the transmission or contraction of the coronavirus, unless the defendant in the lawsuit acted intentionally or recklessly. In circumstances where this immunity does not apply, H.B. 606 prohibits such claims being aggregated and brought as a class action.

Revised Department of Labor FFCRA Guidance, Effective September 16, 2020

In response to attacks on the legality of the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule regarding the Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA” or the “Act”), which took effect in April 2020, the Department of Labor issued new guidance on Friday, September 11th to formally address ongoing questions and concerns related to the COVID-19 legislation.