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On April 12, 2024, Treasury and the IRS published proposed regulations on the 1% excise tax imposed by Internal Revenue Code Section 4501 on the value of stock repurchased by a US public corporation or a 50% affiliate. The proposed regulations elaborate on and clarify compensation-related issues that arose in Notice 2023-2, December 27, 2022 (addressed in our prior blog post), including: how to value repurchased stock for purposes of calculating the amount subject to the…

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last year amended rules under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to shorten the securities transaction settlement cycle for most broker-dealer securities transactions, from “T+2” to “T+1,” meaning that securities transactions will need to be settled within one business day of the transaction date (“T”), effective as of May 28, 2024. Impact on Equity Awards The new SEC-required settlement timing will directly impact equity awards that are settled through…

The question of mid-offering period changes to employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) has been coming up with unusual frequency, in some cases due to stock price volatility causing an earlier-than-expected shortage of shares and in others due to companies desiring to quickly make their plans more competitive in the ongoing battle for talent. Impact of a Modification of a Section 423 ESPP Option But a mid-offering change to the terms of a Code[1] Section 423…

The Internal Revenue Service has issued welcome guidance related to the COBRA subsidy provisions under the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) in the form of IRS Notice 2021-31 (the “Notice”). As background, for the period from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021, ARPA requires employers to provide a 100% COBRA premium subsidy (the “COBRA Subsidy”) for “assistance eligible individuals” (an “Eligible Individual”). In general, an Eligible Individual is anyone who elects COBRA continuation coverage…

In an apparent follow-up to its General Legal Advice Memorandum dated May 18, 2020 (GLAM 2020-004), the IRS has issued an internal procedural update that (1) extends the application of the administrative waiver of late employment tax deposit penalties for stock options to stock-settled restricted stock units (“RSUs”) and stock appreciation rights (“SARs”) and (2) shortens the waiver’s deposit period by one day to align with current SEC securities open-market transaction settlement rules. The internal…

For an update on this development, see our July 15, 2020 post here. The IRS has issued a General Legal Advice Memorandum (GLAM 2020-004) that could increase the audit risk and exposure for late deposit penalties for companies granting stock-settled restricted stock units (“RSUs”) and either (i) not making their next-day employment tax withholding deposits with the IRS within one day of when they request their transfer agent to transfer shares underlying the RSU award…

The financial fallout from the outbreak of COVID-19 has unfortunately forced employers to turn to layoffs and furloughs. Many employers facing these decisions are looking for cost effective ways to mitigate the financial impact on affected employees. A supplemental unemployment benefit plan (“SUB Plan”) may be one way to assist employees while generating some cost savings for the company. A SUB Plan is a unique type of severance benefit plan that permits employers to supplement…

On December 7th, the IRS issued Notice 2018-97 to provide initial guidance on the new private company income inclusion deferral regime enacted under Code Section 83(i) as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Section 83(i)”). Under the deferral regime, eligible employees of eligible privately-held companies may elect to defer payment of federal income taxes due on exercise of stock options or settlement of restricted stock units (“RSUs”) for up to five years…

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) on November 21, 2018 issued “preliminary” FAQs addressing a few, but not insignificant, changes to its compensation policies for 2019.  Unfortunately, these FAQs did not provide much-anticipated guidance on performance awards, following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s elimination of the “qualified performance-based compensation” exception to the general deductibility disallowance under Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code for compensation exceeding $1 million payable to “covered employees” of publicly traded companies. …

On September 24, 2018, the IRS issued Notice 2018-71 (Notice) on the temporary employer tax credit introduced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for wages paid to Qualifying Employees while on covered family or medical leave under new Section 45S of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). In brief: Where the requirements of the Notice are met, the new credit may be claimed during tax years 2018 and 2019 for paid family and medical leave…