Internal Revenue Service Severance Agreements

The United States Internal Revenue Service is a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury. The IRS is charged with collecting revenue and enforcing the Internal Revenue Code.  
News & Analysis as of

Monthly Benefits Update

As expected, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS (the “Agencies”) finalized the employer information reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) earlier this month. The final rules, which are...more

Severance Payments are Taxable under FICA

On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Internal Revenue Service in a dispute over the payroll tax treatment of certain types of severance compensation....more

Severance Pay As Wages: Business As Usual

Confirming what most employers have long assumed to be true, this week the U.S. Supreme Court held that severance payments made to terminated employees are “wages” subject to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax...more

Supreme Court Rules That Severance Payments Are Subject to FICA Taxes

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously held that payments of supplemental unemployment benefits (SUB payments) are taxable wages subject to FICA tax withholding. The Court’s decision in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc.,...more

The Advantages of Offering Supplemental Unemployment Benefits Instead of Severance, Part I: FICA Taxes and More

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), severance is subject to Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) tax and certain supplemental unemployment benefits are not....more

Year-End Deadline Approaching for Code Section 409A Corrections

Employers should be aware that December 31, 2012, is the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) deadline for correcting certain documentary violations under Internal Revenue Code Section 409A ("Section 409A"). Specifically,...more

Expiration of 409A Correction Period Regarding the Timing Requirement to Execute a Release Agreement

The payment of severance in the event of a termination of employment is often conditioned on the execution of a release agreement. This requirement may violate the documentary requirements of Code Section 409A ("409A") if the...more

409A Update: Employment Agreements Requiring Executed Releases May Need to Be Amended by December 31

It is standard practice that employment agreements condition payment of severance benefits or other separation compensation on the employee executing a general release of claims against the employer. However, unless...more

Deadline Approaching for Section 409A Year-End Correction

Section 409A Year-End Correction Deadline: Compensation arrangements such as employment or severance agreements, that provide for payments that are contingent on the execution of a release, must be brought into compliance...more

Employment Contracts and Severance Agreements Should be Reviewed and May Need to be Amended by December 31 to Comply with Section...

Severance agreements and employment contracts with release of claims provisions may violate 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. Bad release provisions may be fixed, penalty-free, before December 31, 2012. Most severance...more

Relief for Correcting Certain Internal Revenue Code Section 409A Failures Expires This Year

The Treasury Department and the IRS have provided favorable transition relief for correcting arrangements that impermissibly condition the payment of nonqualified deferred compensation on a service provider's completion of...more

Section 409A Transition Relief Deadline Quickly Approaching

As the end of the year approaches, important transition relief from penalties and excise taxes imposed by Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) is about to expire. If an employer has an employment agreement or...more

Benefits Update, No. 4, November 2012: Deadline to Correct 409A-Covered Documents Involving Employee Releases Is December 31, 2012

Internal Revenue Code Section 409A governs deferred compensation, which includes, with some exceptions, practically all agreements or plans in which an agreement is made in one year to pay an amount in a later year. Its most...more

Year-end Deadline for Correcting Section 409A Deferred Compensation Arrangements Conditioned on Employee Release or Covenant

By December 31, 2012, all deferred compensation arrangements in which payment is contingent on employee action, such as execution of a release of claims, must either include payment-timing restrictions that comport to IRS...more

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC Employee Benefits Law Alert: Year-end IRS deadline looms for correcting release language in 409A...

Employers with employment agreements, severance policies, and other non-qualified deferred compensation agreements that contain language conditioning any payment on employee action, such as the execution of a release of...more

Government Challenges Sixth Circuit Decision in Quality Stores, Inc.

On October 18, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a petition for rehearing en banc in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., No. 10-1563 (September 7, 2012), asking the full court...more

409A Transition Relief Ends December 31 for Certain Severance and Other Employment Agreements

Employment, change in control, and severance agreements, as well as severance and deferred compensation plans, often condition payment upon the execution of a release or a noncompete or other employment-related condition. Any...more

Deadline Approaching for Amending Compensation Arrangements to Comply with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A

Employers with employment, severance or other compensation arrangements with their employees should be aware the IRS has taken the position agreements that provide for payments, such as severance payments, that will be made...more

Opportunity to Amend Certain Severance-Related Release Agreements to Comply with Section 409A Expires at Year End

Companies commonly condition the payment of severance benefits upon the terminated individual's execution of an agreement containing a release of claims against the employer. Many release provisions permit a former employee...more

Section 409A Document Correction Relief: Take the Final Bite of the Apple before December 31st

Background - Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (Section 409A) regulates the payment of non-qualified deferred compensation. If a plan or agreement is not otherwise exempt from Section 409A and does not comply with its...more

Sixth Circuit Nixes FICA Tax on Severance Pay

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed a Michigan Bankruptcy Court and approved a taxpayer’s request for a refund of FICA taxes paid on behalf of former employees. Quality Stores et al....more

December 31 Section 409A Correction Deadline for Severance Pay Approaching

The Internal Revenue Service(IRS) has given employers until December 31, 2012 to correct a problem frequently found in severance agreements and other similar arrangements. If the problem is not addressed by that date, then it...more

Time is Running Out! December 31 Deadline Nears for Documentary Correction of Payments Contingent on the Execution of a Release...

Severance and other deferred compensation payments that are contingent on the execution of a release can in some circumstances result in a violation of Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 409A governs the...more

IRS Penalty Relief For Severance Pay Expires On December 31

The IRS has given employers until December 31, 2012 to correct a problem frequently found in severance agreements and other similar arrangements. If not corrected by that date, it could be much more expensive to correct the...more

Court Rules Supplemental Unemployment Compensation Not Subject to Social Security, Medicare Taxes

In a case from West Michigan, the federal court of appeals in Cincinnati recently ruled that certain payments of supplemental unemployment compensation are not “wages” subject to Social Security or Medicare taxes under the...more

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