The Washington Report
October 7, 2020
Note to subscribers: Due to the current environment, information is changing at a rapid rate. While we do our best to provide timely updates, it is possible that the information shared in the newsletter may change or be revised after our publication deadline. Stay healthy and safe! ~The Washington Report team
Congress on October Recess
Both chambers of Congress are on recess. The Senate is scheduled to return on October 19, 2020, and the House is prepared to return to the Hill within 24-hours’ notice if an agreement is made on COVID relief legislation.
President Signs Spending Bill Into Law
On October 1, 2020, President Trump signed into law the fiscal year (FY) 2021 spending bill (H.R. 8337). The House approved the bill on September 22, and the Senate passed the legislation on September 30. The law will provide continuing FY 2021 appropriations to federal agencies through December 11, 2020, and extend several government programs. Additionally, the legislation extends several authorities and programs. Please refer to the legislative text for specific information.
H.R. 8337 is available here.
IRS Publishes Notice on Transition Relief Related to Health Coverage Reporting Required by Sections 6055 and 6056 for 2020; Extends Due Date to March 2, 2021
On October 2, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2020-76, which extends the due date under Sections 6055 and 6056 from January 31, 2021, to March 2, 2021, for insurers, self-insuring employers, applicable large employers, and certain other providers of minimum essential coverage to furnish to individuals the 2020 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and the 2020 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. Additionally, Notice 2020-76 provides that the IRS will not impose a penalty under Section 6722 for failures to furnish a Form 1095-B to responsible individuals and also provides a final extension of transitional good faith relief from Section 6721 and 6722 penalties to the 2020 information reporting requirements under Sections 6055 and 6056. For additional information, please see the Aon bulletin, IRS Extends Due Date for Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to March 2, 2021, in the Publications section of the newsletter.
IRS Notice 2020-76 is available here.
PBGC Releases Third Installment of 2018 Pension Insurance Data Tables
On October 1, 2020, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) released the third installment of the 2018 Data Tables for the PBGC's Single-Employer and Multiemployer Programs and the private defined benefit pension system. This installment includes various breakdowns of the number of plans, number of plan participants, hybrid plans, frozen plans, premium revenue, and plan funding. Some of the breakdowns are by industry, location, and plan funded status.
The PBGC’s What's New for Employers & Practitioners website is available here.
The 2018 Data Tables are available here.
IRS Issues Final Regulations for Meals and Entertainment Deduction
On September 30, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final regulations on the business expense deduction for meals and entertainment following changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The 2017 TCJA generally eliminated the deduction for any expenses related to activities generally considered entertainment, amusement, or recreation. However, taxpayers may still deduct business expenses related to food and beverages if certain requirements are met.
These final regulations address the disallowance of the deduction for expenditures related to entertainment, amusement, or recreation activities, including the applicability of certain exceptions to this disallowance. They also provide guidance to determine whether an activity is considered entertainment. The final regulations also address the limitation on the deduction of food and beverage expenses.
The news release is available here.
The final regulations are available here.
IRS Extends Due Date for Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to March 2, 2021
On October 2, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published Notice 2020-76, which provides employers and insurers an extension of time to furnish 2020 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals from January 31, 2021, to March 2, 2021. The IRS noted that this will be the final time it extends penalty relief for filers who make information reporting errors but demonstrate good faith efforts to comply with the Affordable Care Act reporting requirements.
The Aon bulletin on Notice 2020-76 is available here.
HHS Renews COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration
Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar renewed the public health emergency declaration effective October 23, 2020. The renewal extends the declaration for another 90 days, until January 21, 2021, although the Secretary has the right to terminate the declaration prior to that expiration date.
The Aon bulletin is available here.
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