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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.

BMD Appellate Win Clarifies Waiver of Contractual Right to Arbitrate

Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC attorneys David M. Scott, Lucas K. Palmer, and Krista D. Warren prevailed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit regarding if/when a party waives a contractual right to arbitrate. Borror Property Management, LLC v. Oro Karric North, LLC, No. 20-3146 (the “Decision”).

Relief for Ohio Under the Federal American Rescue Plan Act

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) — a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package — a significant portion of which will be directed to the State of Ohio to support economic recovery, as outlined below.

Cleveland Manufacturer Violated OFAC Sanctions By Allowing Shipments To Iran - Know Your Customer and Know Their Customer

UniControl, Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio manufacturer of process controls, airflow pressure switches, boiler controls and other instruments, agreed to pay the Office of Foreign Assets Control “OFAC,” the financial enforcement agency of the U.S. Treasury Department, $216,464 to settle its liabilities for violations of the Iran Sanctions Program. OFAC stated that “this enforcement action highlights the importance of identifying and assessing multiple warning signs that indicate a foreign trade partner may be re-exporting goods to a sanctioned jurisdiction.”

Ohio Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations Shortened to 6 Years

On March 16, 2021, Governor DeWine signed into law S.B. 13 which shortens Ohio’s statute of limitations for filing lawsuits based on breach of contract. A statute of limitation is the time period within which a party must file a lawsuit before its claim expires as a matter of law.

Chinese Product Tariff Challenge Causes Flurry of Importer Lawsuits

A lawsuit filed late in 2020 at the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) challenging the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) implementation of Section 301 “List 3” and “List 4” duties on products from China, HMTX Industries LLC et al. v. United States (Court No. 20-00177), has resulted in the filing of thousands of additional lawsuits brought by other affected importers. There are now 3,700+ companies added to the list, including Ford, Home Depot, Target, Tesla, and Walgreens, along with many other smaller importers.