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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…

Now that we have had a couple of weeks to digest the IRS’s guidance in Notice 2018-68 on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s (TCJA’s) amendments to Code Section 162(m), it’s a good time to take a closer look at the “grandfathering” rule. As a reminder, the TCJA (i) eliminated the “performance-based compensation” exception to Section 162(m)’s $1 million limit on the deductibility of covered employee compensation, (ii) expanded and made permanent the group of…

In a Private Letter Ruling released on August 17, 2018 (PLR 201833012) (“Ruling”), the IRS approved an employer’s proposed amendment to its 401(k) plan (“Plan”), under which it would make an employer non-elective contribution on behalf of an employee conditioned on the employee making student loan repayments (“SLR non-elective contribution”). As described in the Ruling, the proposed student loan repayment benefit program (the “program”), is a voluntary program under which the employee must elect to…

Last week, the IRS issued Notice 2018-68 containing initial guidance on the amendments to section 162(m) made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), including the transitional relief for written binding contracts. On balance, the guidance is not particularly favorable to taxpayers, as it takes a narrow view of the grandfathering relief for arrangements in effect under prior law, particularly for arrangements with negative discretion, and a broad view of the new group of…

Almost all plan documents contain some level of administrative provisions outlining how the plan is intended to operate (e.g., number of committee members, quorum, etc.).  Plan sponsors often view these provisions as “boilerplate” with little or no meaning.  In actuality, these are substantive provisions of the plan and failure to follow those provisions can have substantial consequences. The Consequences Failure to follow the terms of the plan document is a potential qualification issue under IRS…

The IRS has issued guidance in Notice 2017-46 (the “Notice”) relaxing the rules applicable to U.S. financial institutions that require the collection of foreign taxpayer identification numbers (Foreign TINs) from U.S. nonresident aliens. Under anticipated amendments to temporary regulations that are described in the Notice, withholding agents will be required to collect a Foreign TIN and date of birth (in the case of an individual account holder) on a foreign person’s beneficial owner withholding certificate (e.g., a…

As most employers are aware, the obligation to report non-qualified deferred compensation (NQDC) that complies with Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 409A is currently suspended, but non-compliant NQDC is required to be reported in Box 12 of an employee’s Form W-2. Employers should also be aware of the additional Form W-2 reporting requirements that may apply to NQDC, including equity awards that are considered NQDC, such as deferred restricted stock units: the obligation to report…

On April 21, 2017, the Trump Administration issued Executive Order 13789, which instructed the IRS to review all “significant tax regulations” issued on or after January 1, 2016 to identify as targets for modification, rescission or delayed effectiveness any regulations that (i) impose an undue financial burden on U.S. taxpayers; (ii) add undue complexity to the Federal tax laws; or (iii) exceed the statutory authority of the IRS. Having completed this review, earlier this month,…