Vision Payroll

October 21, 2011

Question of the Week: What Are the 2012 Highly Compensated Employee Limits?

What Are the 2012 Highly Compensated Employee Limits?
What Are the 2012 Highly Compensated Employee Limits?
This week’s question comes from Carla, a company president.

Carla asks:

We’re doing some compensation planning for next year. What are the 2012 Highly Compensated Employee Limits?

Answer: The IRS has just released updated information for 2012.

IRS Releases 2012 Highly Compensated Employee Limits in IR-2011-103

In IR-2011-103, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that for 2012 the Highly Compensated Employee Limitation under §414(q)(1)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 will increase to $115,000. Non-discrimination testing in some types of retirement plans limits the deferral rate of “highly compensated employees” (HCEs) based upon the deferral rate (ADP) of the “non-highly compensated employees”.

Highly Compensated Employee Compensation Limit Had Been $110,000

For 2012 plan year testing, an HCE is anyone who was a “5-percent owner” at any time during 2011 or 2012 or anyone who received in excess of $110,000 in compensation during 2011 and, if elected by the employer, is in the top twenty percent of employees based upon compensation. The HCE limit was also $110,000 for 2010 and 2011 plan year testing. The new $115,000 limit for 2012 is to be used for 2013 plan year testing.

Look-back Provision Impacts HCE Testing Period

Since the law includes a look-back provision, employees who earned more than $110,000 in 2010 are generally considered HCEs for 2011 plan year testing, employees who will earn more than $110,000 in 2011 are generally considered HCEs for 2012 plan year testing, and employees who will earn more than $115,000 in 2012 are generally considered HCEs for 2013 plan year testing.

Contact Vision Payroll for More Information on HCEs

Contact Vision Payroll if you have questions on changes to the HCE definition for 2012 to be used in 2012 plan year testing or get further information at Important Facts and Figures.

January 17, 2011

2010 Form W-2 Tips, Part 11, Box 10 Dependent Care Benefits

This is one in a continuing series on the 2010 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which employers must generally furnish to employees no later than January 31, 2011. Forms mailed on the due date are considered furnished if properly addressed. Employers unable to meet that deadline may file a request for extension of time to furnish the forms. Today we review Box 10, dependent care benefits.

2010 Annual Exclusion Limit Is $5,000

Box 10 shows the amount paid or incurred by the employer under §129 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) for dependent care assistance provided to the employee if the assistance is furnished pursuant to a “dependent care assistance program” under that section. This box should include amounts paid or incurred for dependent care assistance in an IRC §125 (cafeteria) plan. The fair market value of any employer-sponsored or employer-provided day care facilities should also be included. Even though there is an annual exclusion limit of $5,000, the total amount paid or incurred must be reported in box 10. Amounts over $5,000 must also be reported in box 1 and box 5 and box 3, subject to the wage limitation. Amounts that cannot be excluded for other reasons such as benefits for highly compensated employees in plans described in IRC §129(d), must also be reported in box 1 and box 5 and box 3, subject to the wage limitation.

Box 11, Nonqualified Plans Is the Next Topic

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 11, nonqualified plans. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on the 2010 Form W-2.

October 29, 2010

Question of the Week: What Are the 2011 Highly Compensated Employee Limits?

What Are the 2011 Highly Compensated Employee Limits?
What Are the 2011 Highly Compensated Employee Limits?
This week’s question comes from Cristina, a company president. We’re doing some planning for next year. What are the 2011 Highly Compensated Employee Limits?

IRS Releases 2011 Highly Compensated Employee Limits in IR-2010-108

In IR-2010-108, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that for 2011 the Highly Compensated Employee Limitation under §414(q)(1)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 will remain unchanged. Non-discrimination testing in some types of retirement plans limits the deferral rate of “highly compensated employees” (HCEs) based upon the deferral rate (ADP) of the “non-highly compensated employees”.

Highly Compensated Employee Compensation Limit Remains at $110,000

For 2011, an HCE is anyone who was a “5-percent owner” at any time during 2010 or 2011 or anyone who received in excess of $110,000 in compensation during 2010 and, if elected by the employer, is in the top twenty percent of employees based upon compensation. The HCE limit was $110,000 for 2008 and 2009.

Look-back Provision Impacts HCE Testing Period

Since the law includes a look-back provision, employees who earned more than $110,000 in 2009 are generally considered HCEs for 2010 plan year testing, employees who will earn more than $110,000 in 2010 are generally considered HCEs for 2011 plan year testing, and employees who will earn more than $110,000 in 2011 are generally considered HCEs for 2012 plan year testing.

Contact Vision Payroll for More Information on HCEs

Contact Vision Payroll if you have questions on changes to the HCE definition for 2010 and 2011 or get further information at Important Facts and Figures.

January 17, 2010

2009 Form W-2 Tips, Part 11, Box 10 Dependent Care Benefits

This is one in a continuing series on the 2009 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which employers must generally furnish to employees no later than February 1, 2010. Forms mailed on the due date are considered furnished if properly addressed. Employers unable to meet that deadline may file a request for extension of time to furnish the forms. Today we review Box 10, dependent care benefits.

Box 10 shows the amount paid or incurred by the employer under §129 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) for dependent care assistance provided to the employee if the assistance is furnished pursuant to a “dependent care assistance program” under that section. This box should include amounts paid or incurred for dependent care assistance in an IRC §125 (cafeteria) plan. The fair market value of any employer-sponsored or employer-provided day care facilities should also be included. Even though there is an annual exclusion limit of $5,000, the total amount paid or incurred must be reported in box 10. Amounts over $5,000 must also be reported in boxes 1 and 5 and box 3, subject to the wage limitation. Amounts that cannot be excluded for other reasons such as benefits for highly compensated employees in plans described in IRC §129(d), must also be reported in boxes 1 and 5 and box 3, subject to the wage limitation.

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 11, nonqualified plans. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on the 2009 Form W-2.

October 18, 2009

IRS Announces 2010 Highly Compensated Employee Limitation

In IR-2009-094, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that for 2010 the Highly Compensated Employee Limitation under §414(q)(1)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 will remain unchanged. Non-discrimination testing in some types of retirement plans limits the deferral rate of “highly compensated employees” (HCEs) based upon the deferral rate (ADP) of the “non-highly compensated employees”. For 2010, an HCE is anyone who was a “5-percent owner” at any time during 2009 or 2010 or anyone who received in excess of $110,000 in compensation during 2009 and, if elected by the employer, is in the top twenty percent of employees based upon compensation. The HCE limit was $100,000 for 2008 plan testing and $105,000 for 2009 plan testing. Since the law includes a look-back provision, employees who earned more than $105,000 in 2008 are generally considered HCEs for 2009 plan year testing, employees who will earn more than $110,000 in 2009 are generally considered HCEs for 2010 plan year testing, and employees who will earn more than $110,000 in 2010 are generally considered HCEs for 2011 plan year testing. Contact Vision Payroll if you have questions on changes to the HCE definition for 2009 and 2010 or get further information at Important Facts and Figures.

May 25, 2009

Proposed Regulations Allow Employers to Suspend 401(k) Contributions

On May 18, 2009, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published at 74 FR 23134, REG-115699-09, Suspension or Reduction of Safe Harbor Nonelective Contributions. The proposed regulations take effect May 18, 2009 and may be relied upon by taxpayers until final regulations are issued.

Under §401(k)(12) and §401(k)(13) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC), plans can avoid an IRC §401(k)(3) actual deferral percentage (ADP) failure through the use of a design based safe harbor method that requires specified qualified matching contributions (QMACs) for eligible non-highly compensated employees (NHCEs). The proposed regulations would allow employers that incur a substantial business hardship (similar to one described in IRC §412(c)) the option of reducing the safe harbor contribution during a plan year, eliminating the safe harbor contribution during a plan year, or terminating the employer’s safe harbor plan.

The factors to be taken into account in determining if there is a substantial business hardship include determining whether or not:

  1. The employer is operating at an economic loss,
  2. There is substantial unemployment or underemployment in the trade or business and in the industry concerned,
  3. The sales and profits of the industry concerned are depressed or declining, and
  4. It is reasonable to expect that the plan will be continued only if the waiver is granted.

The proposed regulations also require the following:

  1. Thirty days notice to eligible employees of the suspension or reduction (the proposed regulations provide the required information to be provided to eligible employees);
  2. Reasonable opportunity for employees to change their cash or deferred elections and their employee contributions elections;
  3. Amendment of the plan to provide that the ADP test will be satisfied for the year of change of the safe harbor contribution; and
  4. That the plan satisfies the safe harbor nonelection contribution requirement through the date of the amendment.

The IRS will hold a public hearing on the proposed regulations on September 23, 2009. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on REG-115699-09.

January 25, 2009

2008 Form W-2 Tips, Part 11, Box 10 Dependent Care Benefits

This is one in a continuing series on the 2008 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which employers must generally furnish to employees no later than February 2, 2009. Forms mailed on the due date are considered furnished if properly addressed. Employers unable to meet that deadline may file a request for extension of time to furnish the forms. Today we review Box 10, dependent care benefits.

Box 10 shows the amount paid or incurred by the employer under §129 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) for dependent care assistance provided to the employee if the assistance is furnished pursuant to a “dependent care assistance program” under that section. This box should include amounts paid or incurred for dependent care assistance in an IRC §125 (cafeteria) plan. The fair market value of any employer-sponsored or employer-provided day care facilities should also be included. Even though there is an annual exclusion limit of $5,000, the total amount paid or incurred must be reported in box 10. Amounts over $5,000 must also be reported in boxes 1 and 5 and box 3, subject to the wage limitation. Amounts that cannot be excluded for other reasons such as benefits for highly compensated employees in plans described in IRC §129(d), must also be reported in boxes 1 and 5 and box 3, subject to the wage limitation.

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 11, nonqualified plans. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on the 2008 Form W-2.

October 31, 2008

Question of the Week: How Do I Fix an ADP Failure?

This week’s question comes from Dan, a business owner: I just found out that I had an ADP failure. What can I do to fix it? Answer: ADP failures are unfortunately too common, but Vision Payroll can easily help fix them. ADP, or Actual Deferral Percentage, and ACP, or Actual Contribution Percentage, are two tests that must be passed by many 401(k) retirement plans. These tests serve to limit the benefits provided to highly compensated employees (HCEs) in relation to the benefits provided to non-highly compensated employees (NHCEs).

  

In the ADP test, the average salary deferral of each group is calculated and compared to the other. The ADP of the HCEs may not exceed the ADP of the NHCEs by 1.25% or the lesser of the average NHCE percentage plus 2% or the average NHCE percentage times two. If it does, the plan has an ADP failure.

  

There are various methods for correcting an ADP failure depending on how quickly the failure is discovered. Unfortunately, many companies are unaware of the problems caused by ADP failures until it’s too late. Generally, if too much time has elapsed, fixing an ADP failure will become more expensive. Vision Payroll can work with your plan administrator to fix the ADP failure and provide solutions to make sure there are no ADP failures in your future.

October 25, 2008

IRS Announces Increase in 2009 Highly Compensated Employee Limitation

In IR-2008-118, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an increase for 2009 to the Highly Compensated Employee Limitation under §414(q)(1)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Non-discrimination testing in some types of retirement plans limits the deferral rate of “highly compensated employees” (HCEs) based upon the deferral rate (ADP) of the “non-highly compensated employees”. For 2009, an HCE is anyone who was a “5-percent owner” at any time during 2008 or 2009 or anyone who received in excess of $105,000 in compensation during 2008 and, if elected by the employer, is in the top twenty percent of employees based upon compensation. The HCE limit was $100,000 for 2007 and 2008 plan testing. Since the law includes a look-back provision, employees who earned more than $100,000 in 2007 are generally considered HCEs for 2008 plan year testing, employees who will earn more than $105,000 in 2008 are generally considered HCEs for 2009 plan year testing, and employees who will earn more than $110,000 in 2009 are generally considered HCEs for 2010 plan year testing. Contact Vision Payroll if you have questions on changes to the HCE definition for 2008 and 2009, visit Important Facts and Figures, or get updated information for 2009 and 2010.

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