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1. QDROs demand the attention of CPAs   CPEDirect

BY Ray A. Knight, CPA/PFS, J.D., and Lee G. Knight, Ph.D.
A key issue in separation, divorce, and other domestic relations proceedings is whether and how to divide a participant’s interest in a retirement plan. This is a recurrent issue in divorce proceedings, because more than 90 million workers in the United States actively participated in private employer-sponsored retirement plans as of 2011 (Department of Labor, Private Pension Plan Bulletin, June 2013, available at tinyurl.com/muvj2pr).

2. Guidance issued on application of Windsor to retirement plans  

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
Qualified plans must recognize same-sex marriages after the Windsor decision and must be amended, if need be, to make them conform to the results of that decision. Under guidance issued by the IRS, administrators of qualified retirement plans must recognize the same-sex spouses of legally married participants as of June 26, 2013, but are not required to amend their plans to retroactively recognize participants’ legal same-sex marriages before that date.The Supreme Court, in Windsor, 133 S.

3. IRA participants can purchase longevity annuities   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
Final regulations issued on Wednesday (T.D. 9673) permit individual retirement account (IRA) participants to enter into contracts for annuities that begin at an advanced age (often called longevity annuities), using a certain amount of their account balances, without having these amounts count for calculating required minimum distributions from the IRAs under Regs.

4. Supreme Court holds inherited IRAs are not retirement funds   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday held that funds from an inherited IRA were not retirement funds that were exempt from the debtor’s bankruptcy estate (Clark v. Rameker, No. 13-299 (U.S. 6/12/14), aff’g 714 F.3d 559 (7th Cir. 2013)).

5. Notice clarifies midyear amendment of certain retirement plans post-Windsor   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The IRS clarified that a qualified retirement plan will continue to be a qualified 401(k) or 401(m) safe-harbor plan if it adopts a midyear amendment to its plan to comply with the rules in Notice 2014-19 requiring qualified plans to conform to the Windsor decision (Notice 2014-37). A safe-harbor 401(k) or 401(m) plan is a plan that meets certain requirements that exempt it from the nondiscrimination rules, among them a restriction on amending the plan after the beginning of the plan year.

6. Final rules govern tax treatment of distributions to pay accident or health insurance premiums   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
On Friday, the IRS finalized regulations that provide that distributions from qualified retirement plans to pay accident or health insurance premiums are taxable unless a statutory exclusion applies (T.D. 9665). However, arrangements where amounts are used to pay premiums for disability insurance to replace retirement plan contributions in the event of a participant’s disability are not treated as taxable under the regulations if they meet certain requirements.

7. Rollover contribution to second IRA disallowed  

BY Charles J. Reichert, CPA
The Tax Court held that a taxpayer who received distributions from two individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and later transferred the amounts back into his IRAs had taxable income equal to the amount of the second transfer. According to the court, the plain language of Sec. 408(d)(3)(B) allows a taxpayer to make only one tax-free rollover contribution during a one-year period.

8. Details of new myRA retirement savings vehicle revealed   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
Following up on announcement made by President Barack Obama in his annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday, the White House released details of a new retirement savings account to be made available to employees through their employers. These accounts, myRAs (presumably an abbreviation for “my retirement account”), which are being established under the president’s executive authority, are described as “starter” savings accounts aimed at the 50% of employees who have no access to employer 401(k) plans (White House press release, “Fact Sheet: Opportunity for All: Securing a Dignified Retirement for All Americans,” 1/29/14).MyRAs will be

9. How to help clients make the right Social Security election   CPEDirect

BY James Sullivan, CPA/PFS
As the wave of Baby Boomer retirements continues, it is more important than ever for CPAs to understand how to help clients be in the best position to maximize Social Security benefits. Mastering the intricacies of the rules is no easy task, especially for accountants who don’t concentrate full time on financial planning.

10. Loan guarantee terminates IRA  

BY Charles J. Reichert, CPA
The Tax Court held that two taxpayers’ personal guarantees of a loan to a company whose stock was owned by their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) were indirect extensions of credit to the IRAs, a prohibited transaction. Thus, the IRAs ceased to qualify as IRAs at the beginning of the tax
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