Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Tracking Rule -- 409A Train Keep a Rollin'

An explanation of the 409A Tracking Rule (and a suggestion that pre-wiring a plan under 409A may avoid the five-year limitation on tracking underlying equity payments): From xtreERISA Blog: "...I'm suggesting, if you have an equity-based plan and it provides when implemented at the outset that distributions in respect of equity units will track third-party post-CiC payments for underlying equity, then the provision doesn't have to limit tracking to third-party payments made within five years. In that case, I believe, you can simply say that the payments will track the third-party payments, whenever made." ARTICLE HERE

Monday, November 26, 2012

Skadden Arps: Accelerate Compensation into 2012 to Avoid Tax Increase

Accordingly to executive compensation lawyers, some executives may wish to consider accelerating compensation so that it is received in 2012 - prior to likely increases in the income tax rates. However, be mindful of 409A. Only compensation that is not subject to 409A (if any) can be accelerated. "Tax rates for highly compensated individuals will increase in 2013, perhaps substantially. This is due in part to: Possible expiration in 2013 of the Bush tax cuts, resulting in increases in the highest marginal tax brackets; An increase in the employee share of the Hospital Insurance portion of FICA from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent on all wages in excess of $200,000 for single individuals or $250,000 for married individuals filing jointly; Expiration of the 2 percent payroll tax holiday; and Possible increases in the tax rates applicable to capital gains and dividend income. As a result, many employers and executives may wish to accelerate income into 2012 to reduce 2013 tax liabilities. However, the ability to accelerate compensation is severely limited by Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, which regulates the ability of employers and employees to change the time of payment of most types of compensation. Accelerating an award in violation of Section 409A will subject the employee to significant tax penalties." Article Here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Exec Comp "Armegeddon" for Public Corps

From Melbinger Exec Comp Blog: "Imagine a lawsuit brought in the weeks leading up to your company's annual shareholders' meeting, which seeks to postpone that meeting based on inadequate proxy disclosures on executive compensation matters up for a shareholder vote. Now imagine that the lawsuit is successful – and you are forced to decide between (a) paying the class action lawyers hundreds of thousands of dollars of attorneys' fees and issuing enhanced disclosures or (b) fighting the matter through a preliminary injunction hearing, which may have the effect of delaying your shareholder meeting (and create additional legal fees). Does that sound like Armageddon? Well, it happened earlier this year and the lawyers who brought the lawsuit are seeking to duplicate their success – or achieve a large attorneys' fees award – against other public companies in the current proxy season." Article Here

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Firm says: "More 409A Headaches"

More 409A headaches: Existing arrangements containing employment release provisions may need to be amended before year-end for Section 409A compliance (and new arrangements with such provisions need to be carefully drafted). Carin C. Carithers, Christian Chandler, Margaret de Lisser, Kurt L.P. Lawson, Joseph R. Rackman, Martha N. Steinman Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 409A”) generally provides rules governing nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements with the main focus of such rules being limiting the ability of both the plan participant and his or her employer to manipulate the timing of payments under such nonqualified plans (although an employee/employer relationship is not required for Section 409A to apply). In order to accomplish this goal, Section 409A is extremely broad in scope and can also apply to employment agreements, change of control agreements.
verance plans as well as other similar agreements that provide for severance or other compensatory payments unless the agreement qualifies under some limited exemptions from Section 409A. HERE

Thursday, June 28, 2012

IRS Not Enforcing Bad Options - Yet

From Teknos... No Sign of IRS Enforcement – Yet No one has seen any sign of the IRS moving to enforce the few provisions of IRC 409A which apply to issuing stock options (the sections pertaining to stock options fill only 6 of 138 pages in the final regulations). Why have we not heard anything about IRS enforcement? Because, like any new tax regulation, enforcement takes time. And it takes even more time for enforcement results to become visible to the community. Link Here

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

IRS Turns to 409A to Analyze Pension Retirement Tax Issues

A multiemployer pension plan, in an effort to permit employees to “retire” under an early retirement benefit before that benefit was eliminated, proposed to let eligible participants “retire” and then immediately return to work. In a private letter ruling, the IRS concluded these employees were not legitimately retired. In analyzing “retirement” for qualified pension plan purposes the IRS looked at Section 409A and other sources.

IRS Private Letter Ruling HERE

Article HERE

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Prof. Polsky: 409A "Legislative Calamity"

Gregg D. Polsky (North Carolina), Fixing Section 409A: Legislative and Administrative Options, 55 Vill. L. Rev. ___ (2012):

This [article] ... describes the legislative calamity that is § 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 409A manages, all at once, to (i) fail to better neutralize the tax treatment of deferred compensation with that of current compensation, (ii) impose significant compliance costs on sophisticated taxpayers, and (iii) provide a dangerous trap for unsophisticated taxpayers.
Ideally, Congress should repeal § 409A and replace it with a system that taxes deferred compensation more neutrally vis-a-vis current compensation. Failing that, Congress should either replace § 409A with a broad grant of authority to the Treasury and IRS to strengthen the constructive receipt and economic benefit doctrines or amend § 409A to limit its scope to employee compensation paid by public companies.

If Congress fails to act, the Treasury should interpret the term “compensation” as used in § 409A to include only compensation paid by public companies to their employees or directors. This arguably counter-textual interpretation of the statute creates the potential for whipsaw of the IRS by nonpublic companies and their employees, but this problem is outweighed by the benefits from cleaning up § 409A.

Article via Tax Prof Blog: Here

Roth CPA says "kill it" - Here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Constructive Receipt Effective, Appropriate; 409A "Micromanages" - Should be Repealed

Article Here

"To survive and thrive, businesses need a regulatory system that is predictable and fair, but does not micromanage. Constructive receipt is a time-tested doctrine that accomplishes those ends. By contrast, Section 409A is neither predictable nor fair, and micromanages the relationship between businesses and their executives. Section 409A should be repealed."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Going Concern Blog Says 409A is Tax Policy Scam

Penalties for foot-faults insane; akin to shooting jaywalkers; ranked #2 on list of top tax policy scams.

Article HERE