Employee Benefits in Puerto Rico: 2013 Update

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This recorded webinar will provide you with a detailed description of the Dos and Don’ts of filing retirement plans with the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (“Hacienda”). All retirement plans that cover Puerto Rico participants are required to be filed with Hacienda, most likely by the end of this year, to request either a new or an updated determination letter concerning their qualification under the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code of 2011 (the “PRIRC”). With about 5,000 of such plan filings already completed, employee benefits practitioners and Hacienda officers have developed a set of best practices and things to do and things avoid as part of these filings. 

This webinar will also address the main aspects of Hacienda’s new regulations under PRIRC §1081.01(b), which were just issued on January 9, 2013, regarding the Puerto Rico taxation of retirement income, and will provide particular emphasis to how these regulations may impact the administration of the retirement plans of those United States and international companies operating on the Island. Finally, the webinar will cover several aspects of the local and United States regulation of healthcare and other welfare benefit plans in Puerto Rico, such as recent rulings by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court and the United States federal courts on the income and FICA taxation of severance pay, the applicability of the healthcare reform in Puerto Rico, best practices on HIPAA compliance, and findings and lessons learned about the implementation of the ERISA §408(b)(2) rules in Puerto Rico.

Educational Objectives
• Understand the actions that need to be taken by the end of this year in order to keep a retirement plan duly qualified in Puerto Rico and be aware of related problem areas
• Understand the basic rules and interplay of U.S. and Puerto Rico taxation of retirement income and the potential tax risk that may arise when the rules are not properly followed
• Become familiar with the IRS and Hacienda efforts on the supervision of retirement plans on the Island
• Keep abreast of recent developments on the operation of welfare plans in Puerto Rico



Carlos Gonzalez is the President of BenefitsPuertoRico.com LLC, a law firm devoted to assisting U.S. and international companies with their employee benefits and executive compensation matters in Puerto Rico.  Carlos has over twenty years’ experience as a tax, benefits and compensation professional, both in the United States and Puerto Rico.  He assists businesses with all aspects regarding the establishment, qualification, operation and termination of employee benefits and executive compensation programs in Puerto Rico.  Carlos is the author of the leading publication on retirement plans in Puerto Rico; 324 Tax Management, International Pension Planning – Puerto Rico, and is a professor on benefits and compensation at the University of Puerto Rico Law School.  He has served as an advisor to the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury and the IRS on Puerto Rico qualified plan matters.  Carlos has a BBA with a major in accounting and a J.D. from the University of Puerto Rico, and a Tax LLM from Georgetown University, and is a member of the Georgia, Puerto Rico and Washington DC bars.


Eugene M. Holmes is a Senior Counsel in the Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation Practice Center, resident in the Washington, D.C. office.  Eugene’s practice focuses on a broad range of employee benefit issues, including counseling clients on all aspects of pension and health and welfare plan administration, mergers and acquisitions, reduction in force initiatives and government audits.  Eugene works with a variety of national and international public and private companies. He has assisted clients with extensive employee benefit plan compliance reviews, plan design, compliance and termination issues related to corporate transactions and employee benefit plan restructuring and consolidation issues resulting from employer workforce change.  In addition, Eugene has written a number of articles and frequently lectures on various employee benefit issues.


Angel R. Marzan is the Assistant Secretary of the Internal Revenue Area of the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (“Hacienda”), which is the office within Hacienda with direct authority over the qualification and supervision of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans on the Island.  Among his duties, Angel is responsible for evaluating, approving or rejecting taxpayers’ and practitioners’ requests for private letter rulings, closing agreements and other administrative guidance regarding retirement plans.  Angel is also Hacienda’s highest ranking officer participating in the inter-agency initiative with the IRS regarding the audit of dual-qualified and P.R.-only qualified plans.  Prior to joining Hacienda, Angel was in private practice assisting U.S. and local companies with tax and labor & employment matters in P.R.  He was a law degree from the University of Puerto Rico and a Tax LLM from Georgetown University.