Employer Meals, Tip Reports Among IRS Rulemaking Plans

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Guidance on tip reporting and regulatory activity addressing employer-provided meals are two of the payroll-related issues represented among the 277 items covered in the Oct. 23 release of the Internal Revenue Service's “First-Quarter Update to Joint Treasury, IRS 2015-2016 Priority Guidance Plan.”

More information about the Affordable Care Act's employer shared-responsbility provisions for health coverage under Internal Revenue Code Section 4980H also is expected this guidance-plan year, which ends June 30, 2016.

Regulations under Sections 119 and 132 regarding meals or lodging furnished for the convenience of the employer and the de minimis status of these benefits were expected, the guidance plan said.

The item first was included in the guidance plan for 2014-2015, but rulemaking on this issue has yet to be released. Employers now may exclude as de minimis any meal provided to an employee that has so little value that accounting for it would be unreasonable or administratively impracticable, said IRS Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits.

Guidance under Section 6053 regarding tips and tip reporting also is expected. Under that code section, employees are to provide employers with monthly statements of tips received. The section also addresses when the tax imposed exceeds the levy that may be collected by the employer that pay period and other reporting requirements.

Additionally, a revenue procedure under Section 6402 on employee consents obtained by employers to claim a refund of FICA taxes is expected. In March 2015, the IRS released Notice 2015-15 as a proposed revenue procedure addressing this issue.

Several retirement-plan administration issues are expected to be addressed under the plan, including updates to rules applicable to employee stock ownership plans, exceptions to additional tax under Section 72(t) on early distributions from retirement plans and under Section 404 on deductions for employer contributions to qualified plans.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Baer in Washington at mbaer@bna.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Trimarchi in Washington at mtrimarchi@bna.com.