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Uncashed Distribution Checks: Best Practices For Plan Sponsors

Distribution Checks

When employees leave, it can be difficult for benefit plan sponsors to know where to send their information. Follow these best practices for handling such situations.

Defined contribution plan sponsors face numerous challenges when workers change jobs, and the Department of Labor (DOL) is paying close attention to how employers are dealing with these situations.

Often, outgoing workers don’t provide instructions or forwarding information, leaving it up to the plan sponsor to figure out what to do with the assets that are left behind.

From 2004 to 2013, more than 25 million participants in workplace plans left at least one retirement account behind when changing jobs, according to a January report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Meanwhile, the DOL estimates that $15 million in distribution checks goes unclaimed each year. Read more

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New Study Reveals Costs, Means and Ways to Stop Fraud

Fraud and Abuse

These tips based off the “2018 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse” will help safeguard your organization from thieves.

Would you leave the front door unlocked to your business or not-for-profit organization? Of course not. That would give thieves easy access to your assets. Yet a surprising number of organizations don’t have strong antifraud controls in place to protect against dishonest people inside their organizations. And theft from insiders — also referred to as “occupational fraud” — can be costly.

Fraud losses vary significantly, depending on the nature of the scam and how soon it’s detected. Globally, the median loss is $130,000, according to the findings from the 2018 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Here’s a closer look at who was affected and how much was lost, as reported in the latest version of this biennial study. Read more

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Should Your Business Be a C Corporation or a Pass-Through Entity?

business structure

Choosing a business structure isn’t a cut-and-dried issue, there are many factors that play a part in deciding what is the best avenue for you.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) introduced a flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations for tax years beginning in 2018 and beyond. Under prior law, profitable C corporations paid up to 35%. This change has caused many business owners to ask: What’s the optimal choice of entity for my start-up business? Read more

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Congress Raises 401(k) Hardship Withdrawal Limits

401(k) Harship Withdrawal

Restrictions on employee 401(k) hardship withdrawals will be eased next year, thanks to new legislation enacted by Congress in February 2018.

Most 401(k) plans permit hardship withdrawals, though plan sponsors aren’t required to allow them. As it stands today, employees seeking to take money out of their 401(k) accounts are limited to the funds they contributed to the accounts themselves, and only after they’ve first taken a loan from the same account. Loans must be repaid, of course. The theory behind the loan requirement is that employees would be less apt to permanently deplete their 401(k) accounts with hardship withdrawals. Read more

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New Tax Law Boosts Appeal of Qualified Small Business Corporations

Qualified Small Business

Qualified Small Business Corporations come with their share of tax gains and benefits, as well as rules and regulations.

Would you like to invest in a business that allows you to subsequently sell your stock tax-free? That may be possible with qualified small business corporation (QSBC) stock that’s acquired on or after September 28, 2010. Sales of QSBC stock are potentially eligible for a 100% federal income tax exclusion. That translates into a 0% federal income tax rate on your profits from selling stock in a QSBC.

Here’s what you need to know about the 100% stock sale gain exclusion rules, including important restrictions and how this deal may be even sweeter under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Read more

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Know the Rules Before Checking Employee Medical Records

Medical Records

Employers often need to validate health-related time off requests. However, doing so comes with a minefield of regulations to follow.

When employees request time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers need to tread carefully.

The FMLA can be a minefield in several ways, including how to document eligibility for leave. In the simple words of the Department of Labor, employees would qualify for time off under the act if a serious condition makes them “unable to perform the functions of his or her job,” or “to care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition, ” among other reasons.

In its Employer’s Guide to the FMLA, the Labor Department notes that serious health conditions include illnesses, injuries, and physical or mental conditions that require inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.” It also states that the FMLA doesn’t “apply to routine medical examinations, such as a physical, or to common medical conditions, such as an upset stomach, unless complications develop.” Read more

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Tips on the Medicare Appeals Process

Medicare Appeals

It’s frustrating to have Medicare claims denied — and it happens to almost all physicians from time to time. To successfully appeal claims that have been denied, you need to understand the process.

Nearly every physician has claims denied from time to time. Medicare, as a government program, has its own way of doing things. As you know, the process is different from insurance companies, which also have their own way of handling claims.  Read more

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A Dozen Provisions to Include in Physician Employment Contracts

Physician Employment Contracts

A written physician employment agreement can ensure each physician understands and is comfortable with the contract provisions. Here are 12 common provisions to consider including in a practice’s contracts.

When it’s time to negotiate or renegotiate a physician’s employment contract, there are critical issues that must be understood and settled. The fulfillment and career potential of the phsician and the success of the practice depend on it. Read more

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Facing a HIPAA Audit: What to Know

HIPAA Audit

Since the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was passed, the Department of Health and Human Services has been supplied with a range of tools to support enforcement.

Early in the history of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), violations typically involved receiving a warning letter from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It was basically toothless and carried no penalties. In 2009, Congress passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), which supplied the government with a range of tools to support enforcement. In short, HIPAA grew fangs. Read more

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FAQs about Deducting Interest on Home Loans under the New Tax Law

Home Loans

Are you confused about the new tax law provisions that relate to itemized deductions for qualified residence interest? Here’s what you should know to avoid surprises when filing your federal tax return next year.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changes the rules for deducting interest on home loans. Most homeowners will be unaffected because favorable grandfather provisions will keep the prior-law rules for home acquisition debt in place for them.

However, many homeowners will be adversely affected by the TCJA provision that generally disallows interest deductions for home equity loans for 2018 through 2025. This article explains what you need to know to avoid unpleasant surprises when you file your taxes for 2018. Read more