BLS Presentations You May Want to Attend

  Maria Hurd, CPA, RPA, Christopher Ciminera, CPA, QKA,  and many members of our employee benefit plan audit team are highly sought after for speaking events. Here are a few upcoming speaking events that we thought you might be interested in attending. APRIL 19, 2021: Death, Taxes, and Retirement Plan Operational Failures – On April 19 from 2-2:45PM EST, Maria … Continued

When a Valid Limited Scope Certification is Invalid

Posted By Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA How Can a Valid Limited Scope Certification be Invalid? Just as certificates of authenticity for rare artwork have certified that reproductions were the real deal, a 103(a)(3)(C) certification, better known as a limited scope certification, could certify an investment value that has not been determined in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), … Continued

Big Little Plans

Posted By Maria T. Hurd, CPA How Big Can a Retirement Plan Be and Still Qualify for the Small Plan Audit Exemption? “Define Large.” It is a question I often get from advisors hoping to get their clients out of a retirement plan audit. Until now the answer has been simple: 100 participants is the general rule, but if your … Continued

“Give it BACK!!!”…”No!”…”OK, Keep It!”

Posted By: Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA What if the Participant Already Spent the Overpayment from the Plan?     Ineligible or excess distributions from qualified plans happen all the time. In our last 30 years of auditing retirement plans, our distribution tests have uncovered all the following ineligible or excess distributions:   Hardship reason not met: A participant doesn’t … Continued

Why Should Taking a Hardship Distribution be a Hardship?

Posted By: Maria T. Hurd, CPA Taking a hardship distribution should not be, in itself, a hardship to a participant going through challenging times, nor should it be an administration hardship to the employer trying to help. Although obtaining documentation to substantiate a hardship is not, in itself, difficult, missing hardship backup is one of the most common operational errors … Continued

Party in Interest Versus Related Party

Posted By: Maria T. Hurd, CPA Transactions with Related Parties and Parties In Interest: What are the GAAP disclosure requirements? ERISA’s definition of a party in interest is broader than a related party as that term is defined by GAAP. Parties in interest include all entities and individuals that provide services to the plan; however, these entities may not necessarily … Continued

Form 5500 Penalties Increased by How Much?

Posted By Maria Hurd, CPA The SECURE Act increased IRS Late Filing Penalties for Form 5500 by how much? How can I avoid them? IRS Penalties Tenfold. That’s how much the SECURE Act (the “Act”) increased the penalty for the late filing of a Form 5500 –TENFOLD! Before the Act, the IRS could assess a civil penalty of $25 for … Continued

Safe Harbor Match Notice Not Distributed

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA Distributing a Safe Harbor Match Plan Notice Slipped Through the Cracks. What is the Correction? The barrage of changes introduced by the SECURE Act, closely followed by the CARES Act, along with furloughs, remote work, and all the work-life changes of pandemic year 2020 may have resulted in administrative errors in plan operations, such … Continued

Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Under the SECURE Act

Posted by Maria T Hurd, CPA Updated November 11, 2020 The CARES Act gave us a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) holiday during 2020, but the SECURE Act’s new RMD rules will be back in 2021. How will the changing rules affect financial statement audits? RMDs under the SECURE ACT The SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act) … Continued

Correction Options for Retirement Plan Errors

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA In a highly regulated industry with complicated rules that always have exceptions (except when the exception does not apply) it is inevitable that sooner or later a failure to follow the plan document will take place. Such operational errors can be corrected through the IRS Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) in one of … Continued