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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.

Lockdowns, Landlords, & Litigation: Abercrombie & Fitch Flips The Script on Simon Property Group Inc.

Novel litigation between commercial property owners and tenants arises from COVID-19 lockdowns. Typically, owners sue for nonpayment of rent. But in Franklin County, Ohio, a large retail tenant turned the tables and sued the owner to recoup payments.

UPDATE: Ohio Businesses Remain Required to Post Exceptions to State-Wide Mask Mandate at All Entrances

On August 1, 2020, Lance D. Himes, Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued an amended order continuing the requirement that Ohio businesses post at all entrances any permitted exceptions they provide to customers, patrons, visitors, contractors, vendors and similar individuals to use facial coverings.

2020 Marcum National Construction Survey Marks a New, Post-Pandemic Construction Environment

The results of the 2020 Marcum National Construction Survey are in, and the construction industry’s outlook for the remainder of 2020 and beginning of 2021 remains cautiously optimistic despite the COVID-19 global pandemic. Ability to find skilled labor, healthcare expenses, and material costs remain the top concerns for the industry, while “lack of future work” joins the list.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in the Wake of COVID-19

Several major “essential business” employers, including Walmart and Tyson, have been served with wrongful death lawsuits in relation to COVID-19. As many Ohio employees begin to return to work, employers should be prudent in following workplace safety practices.

We are Working in a Virtual, Video-Conferencing World – But What About Wiretapping?

Businesses and other organizations often have a need or desire to record telephone conversations related to their business interests and customer dealings; however, this practice is not always permissible as federal and state laws vary on this issue. Knowing and understanding your jurisdiction’s rules and regulations on this practice is essential to remaining in compliance with the law.