This week, the IRS released 2023 cost-of-living adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs), high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), and excepted benefit health reimbursement arrangements (EBHRAs). All of these limits have increased from 2022. Everything you need to know about each limit increase is stated in our press release, which is down below.
The IRS has released an information letter responding to an inquiry from a qualified transportation plan participant whose employer decided to let him work from home permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To avoid losing compensation reduction amounts he had previously set aside for parking, the participant asked whether his unused compensation reductions could be transferred to a health FSA under a cafeteria plan.
The letter explains that unused compensation reduction amounts under an employer’s qualified transportation plan can be carried over to subsequent periods under the plan and used for future commuting expenses, so long as the employee does not receive benefits that exceed the maximum excludable amount in any month. But cash refunds are not permitted, even to employees whose compensation reduction amounts exceed their need for qualified transportation fringe benefits. Furthermore, the Code prohibits cafeteria plans from offering qualified transportation fringe benefits, and IRS rules do not permit unused compensation reduction amounts under a qualified transportation plan to be transferred to a health FSA under a cafeteria plan. The letter also notes that COVID-19-related relief for FSAs gives employers the discretion to amend their cafeteria plans to permit midyear health FSA election changes for plan years ending in 2021.
EBIA Comment: The qualified transportation rules have proven sufficiently flexible to handle most situations resulting from the COVID-19 emergency. Most employers permit benefit election changes at least monthly, and plans can allow current participants to carry over unused balances indefinitely. Compensation reductions set aside for one qualified transportation benefit (e.g., parking) can even be used for a different transportation benefit (e.g., transit) if the plan permits and the maximum monthly benefit is not exceeded. But—as this participant’s request to transfer parking compensation reductions to a health FSA suggests—those options are not always sufficient. Because some risk of loss due to changing circumstances is unavoidable, employers should clearly articulate that risk to employees before they make compensation reduction elections.
Source: Thomson Reuters
Filing forms can sometimes be stressful. Fortunately, there’s a way to remove the guesswork. Below is the newly released information regarding the filing guidelines for the 2022 IRS 1099-R and 5498 forms.
Forms 1099-R and 5498. Changes are limited to updating year references and removing the year-specific delivery and filing deadlines. Instead, the forms now refer users to the General Instructions for due date information.
Instructions for Forms 1099-R and 5498. There are a few changes, only some of which may affect 401(k) plan sponsors and plan administrators.
- Escheatments: Payments by qualified plans to state unclaimed property funds under escheat laws must now be reported on Form 1099-R. In Revenue Ruling 2020-24, the IRS announced a limited nonenforcement policy for payors and plan administrators who did not meet the withholding and reporting requirements described in the ruling but that relief has expired.
- Form W-4R: Payers are reminded that, beginning in 2022, Form W-4R should be provided to recipients of nonperiodic payments and eligible rollover distributions so they can request additional withholding or claim exemption from withholding. [EBIA Comment: These instructions mention only Form W-4R, but the IRS website states that during 2022 payers may use either the 2021 Form W-4P or the redesigned 2022 Form W-4P (for periodic payments) and new Form W-4R (for nonperiodic payments). The 2021 Form W-4P should not be used after December 31, 2022.]
- Disaster-Related Distributions: A new instruction explains how to report disaster-related distributions.
General Instructions. Dates and applicable penalty amounts have been updated. In addition, payers are alerted to several coming changes.
- Electronic Filing Threshold: The instructions note that the IRS has been authorized to lower the 250-return threshold for electronic filing of 2022 information returns, but final regulations have not been issued. (Regulations were proposed in July 2021). The threshold remains unchanged unless final regulations are issued that apply to 2022.
- Filing Portal: An internet portal for preparation, filing, and distribution of all Forms 1099 should be available starting in 2023.
- Continuous Use Forms: Form 1098 and certain 1099-series forms have been converted to continuous use and will, going forward, be revised only as needed. Form 1099-R, however, will continue to be updated annually.
EBIA Comment: Qualified plan distributions of $10 or more in 2022 must be reported to the IRS on this version of Form 1099-R. The deadline for providing the 2022 Form 1099-R to plan participants and beneficiaries is January 31, 2023. Copy A must be filed with the IRS by February 28, 2023, for scannable paper filings, and by March 31, 2023, for electronic filings. The 2022 Form 5498 generally must be filed and provided by May 31, 2023, but some information (regarding fair market value and required minimum distributions) must be furnished by January 31, 2023. Copy A filings on paper must be prepared using the official printed versions of the forms obtained from the IRS. Attempts to file non-scannable photocopies of the forms may result in penalties.
Source: Thomson Reuters