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  #261  
Old 06-21-2018, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by davefarber View Post
By the way, I have completed going through the exam, found all of the appropriate cites for the factual questions, and have no issues with any question as far as any of them being defective. Although I don't believe the question to be defective, I will include with my comments the issue that has been brought up with regard to question 27 and the 100% excise tax. As I have said, I felt that this was straightforward, and that only the 15% excise tax should be part of the solution, given that the very next question brings up the 100% excise tax, which I could see might make you re-think the solution to question 27 (although including the 100% takes you waaaaay outside of the answer implied ranges). I would not expect that the grading would change for this, but it may improve the wording for a question like number 27 (which could have been improved by asking for the "initial" excise tax for 2018).
I totally agree with what you are saying about #27. I have always wondered (after reviewing prior questions on this topic) why they have not either referred to this excise tax as "initial" [§ 4975(a)] or "first tier" [Rev. Rul. 2002-43] in exam problems given that is how it is referred to in the references just given. That would make it perfectly clear that they are not referring to the additional 100% excise tax in § 4975(b). While the implied answer range thing is certainly a good rule of thumb in general, it shouldn't have to be relied upon during an exam to gain clarity. I hope they clean up the language on these § 4975(a) excise tax questions in the future.
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  #262  
Old 06-21-2018, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Woopsadaisy View Post
Any comment as to overall degree of difficulty?
I think 2018 was pretty typical, compared to prior exams.
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  #263  
Old 06-21-2018, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Woopsadaisy View Post
Also, this says "employee" and not "participant" as well as "can" be excluded and not "must" be excluded. I think "Must" would be False.
This is covered by the exam conditions:

(5) The plan covers all active employees of the employer; there is no age or service requirement for participation. Thus, when referring to active employees, the terms “employee” and “participant” are synonymous.
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  #264  
Old 06-21-2018, 04:48 PM
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I think 2018 was pretty typical, compared to prior exams.
Yes, I agree that it was of average difficulty.
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  #265  
Old 06-22-2018, 09:45 AM
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Yes, I agree that it was of average difficulty.
Yay, looking forward to my 5. Looking back, I clearly overthought some of these problems.
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  #266  
Old 06-22-2018, 09:47 AM
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Yay, looking forward to my 5. Looking back, I clearly overthought some of these problems.
HA same
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  #267  
Old 06-22-2018, 11:56 AM
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I think most of the questions I anticipate to get wrong were from clear "overthought". Looking at some of the questions now, they were clearly simpler and more straightforward than they were when I was taking the test.
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  #268  
Old 06-22-2018, 12:08 PM
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I had the most trouble with #34 and I have no idea why. I tried to do it 50 different ways during the exam and still couldn't solve. Does anyone have a solution?
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  #269  
Old 06-22-2018, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by KernelMustard View Post
I had the most trouble with #34 and I have no idea why. I tried to do it 50 different ways during the exam and still couldn't solve. Does anyone have a solution?
I've commented on this, but here's a formalish solution:

1/1/17 AFTAP = .68. If you can burn balance to get to 80% you do it. You cannot since you'd only get to .78. No burning of balance.

1/1/18 Presumed AFTAP = .68 = (1.3M - .35M)/Presumed FT. Implies PFT = 1,397,059. Now, can we burn balances to get to 80%? Yes. If balance is reduced to 182,353, we will hit 80% so we burn.

As of 4/1, AFTAP has not been certified so we have a new presumed AFTAP of .70 and I think this might be the real key(trick) of the problem. We burned to get to 80% and now the haircut kicks in to take us down to 70%. Now, we must calculate a new Presumed FT based on 70%.

.70 = (1.3M - 182, 353)/PFT. Implies PFT = 1,596,639. Can we burn balances to get to 80%? Yes we can. If balances are reduced to 22,689 we will hit 80%.

Hence, the 1/1/2018 PFB = 22,689. Answer choice A.
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  #270  
Old 06-22-2018, 01:54 PM
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I agree with your solution, theojd. I was in the midst of typing it up when you posted just now.
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