American Retirement Association Requests Tax Relief for Harvey Victims

By ASPPA Net Staff • August 29, 2017 • 0 Comments
On Aug. 29, the American Retirement Association requested relief for taxpayers, plan sponsors and service providers adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“At this very moment, the remnants of Hurricane Harvey continue to cause significant damage along the Texas/Louisiana Gulf coasts,” write ARA’s CEO Brian Graff and General Counsel Craig Hoffman, continuing, “As with past storms of this magnitude, it has resulted in significant hardships for taxpayers, plan sponsors and their service providers who reside in the affected area.”

As a result, they write, “the ARA believes that the following relief is justified and should be granted at the earliest possible moment”:

1. Relief for taxpayers who would like to use their retirement assets in qualified retirement plans to alleviate hardships caused by Hurricane Harvey. The relief should be patterned on the relief announced after Hurricane Sandy as set forth in IRS Announcement 2012-44.

2. Like past hurricanes, Harvey struck at a particularly busy time for plan sponsors and their service providers. This is due to the pending deadline for calendar year plans that received an extension to file Form 5500 until Oct. 16, 2017. The IRS, Department of Labor and PBGC should immediately announce relief once again patterned on past announcements such as that provided most recently for Hurricane Hermine or in the past for Hurricane Sandy. It is particularly important that relief extend to taxpayers whose books, records or Form 5500 return preparer are located in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Graff and Hoffman asked for expedited consideration of ARA’s request “as there is a clear need for guidance as soon as possible.”

The ARA also is seeking legislative relief similar to what was provided for those who suffered losses as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita or Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The specific provisions would include waiver of the early distribution excise tax under IRC Section 72(t), ratable inclusion of the distribution in income over a three-year period, expanded rollover periods for qualified hurricane distributions and increased loan limits under IRC Section 72(p). A relief bill is expected to be considered when Congress returns to Washington after Labor Day.