News & Analysis as of

A Review of the Supreme Court’s 2013-2014 Term

The United States Supreme Court concluded its 2013-2014 term by issuing decisions in several highly publicized employment and employee benefits cases during the Court’s final scheduled sessions, including Noel Canning,...more

Severance Payments to Terminated Employees are Taxable Wages

Employers must treat severance payments to involuntarily terminated employees as wages. In an 8-0 opinion, the Supreme Court held that such payments are “remuneration for employment” for which taxes much be withheld and paid...more

In Quality Stores, the Supreme Court Holds that Severance Payments are Taxable FICA Wages

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in favor of the government in the long-running Quality Stores litigation, holding that severance payments are taxable FICA wages, even if they fall within the category of...more

Supreme Court Confirms FICA Taxes Must be Withheld from Severance Payments

Finding severance payments to be a form of “remuneration for employment,” the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. held that such payments are taxable wages – and thus subject to withholding –...more

U.S. Supreme Court’s Severance Ruling Impacts Future Unemployment Benefits

The decision in Quality Stores not only kills FICA tax refunds for millions of unemployed workers, but it also requires proactive employer actions to maximize future employer and state unemployment benefit payments to...more

US v. Quality Stores, Inc.: Supreme Courts Finds Severance Payments Taxable Wages Under FICA

In an 8-0 decision issued March 25, 2014 in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., the Supreme Court held that severance payments made to employees who are involuntarily terminated are taxable wages for the purposes of...more

Employee Benefits: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds FICA Tax On Severance

In our February 2014 Information Memo, we suggested that an employer that had paid out severance benefits in 2010 and later years, and paid FICA taxes on such benefits, consider filing protective refund claims based upon a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Severance Payments Can Be Taxed

It’s a common scenario for many employers. An employee who is terminated by the employer is offered a severance package. The employee would prefer that the severance payments are made under a 1099 (and therefore not subject...more

Supreme Court Holds Severance Payments Subject to FICA Tax

Compensation for services as an employee (called “wages” in the federal tax code) are subject to FICA (social security and medicare) tax as well as income taxes. Over the past 70 years, the courts, including the U.S. Supreme...more

Severance Payments to Terminated Employees are Taxable Wages under FICA

The Supreme Court recently held that severance payments made to involuntarily terminated employees constituted “remuneration for employment,” for which taxes must be withheld and paid under the Federal Insurance Contributions...more

Supreme Court Clarifies That Severance Payments Are Taxable

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously (Justice Kagan recused herself) in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., Case No. 12-1408 that severance payments made to employees who were involuntarily terminated are...more

Supreme Court Finds Severance Payments are Subject to FICA

On March 25, 2014, in a decision highly anticipated by employers, the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that certain severance payments paid to employees who were involuntarily terminated were taxable wages for purposes of...more

FICA Taxes on Severance Payments

In certain situations, an employee whose job is eliminated may receive a lump sum severance payment from the employer. The payments vary greatly, often dependent on the length of employment and reason for the termination. The...more

Supreme Court Decides Severance Not Exempt From FICA

Executive Summary: On March 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that certain severance payments (described as "supplemental unemployment compensation benefits" or "SUBs") constituted taxable wages for...more

IRS Wins One At Supreme Court: Severance Pay Is Subject To FICA Tax

I blogged about the Quality Stores decision which at the district court and court of appeals levels held that certain severance payments were not subject to FICA (Social Security) taxes. The IRS had challenged the employer in...more

Supreme Court Holds Severance Payments are Taxable Wages under FICA

In a unanimous 8-0 decision issued on March 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court held that severance payments made to employees terminated against their will are taxable wages under the Federal Insurance Contributions...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Tax Rules for Certain Severance Payments

The United States Supreme Court resolved a split among the Circuit courts over whether severance payments are “wages” and thus subject to taxation under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (“FICA”). In a unanimous...more

Supreme Court Overturns The Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals: Holds Severance Payments Subject To FICA Taxes

In this e-Alert, we address the recent United States Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Quality Stores, Inc., et al, No. 12-1408 (Sup. Ct. 03/25/2014), whereby the United States Supreme Court unanimously overturned the prior...more

Supreme Court Finds that Severance Pay is Wages for Purposes of Payroll Taxes

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court held in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. that severance payments are taxable wages for FICA purposes. This decision confirms employers’ responsibility to treat severance pay as...more

Supreme Court Decides in Favor of IRS in Quality Stores: FICA Generally Applies to Severance Payments

The Supreme Court of the United States has decided in favor of the Internal Revenue Service in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., holding that severance payments made pursuant to plans that did not tie payments to the...more

Supreme Court Rules that Severance Payments Are Taxable Under FICA

I have to admit, when I read the news that the Supreme Court had ruled earlier this week that severance payments are “wages” subject to payroll taxes, I thought I was on crazy pills: Didn’t we already know that? But,...more

Supreme Court: Severance Payments Are Wages Subject To FICA Taxes

On March 25, 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a certain type of severance payment known as supplemental unemployment compensation constituted “wages” subject to Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA)...more

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Quality Stores Clarifies That Severance Pay is Taxable—in Most Cases

On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court, in an 8-0 decision, ruled in Quality Stores, Inc., et al., 12-1408 that severance payments made to employees who are involuntarily terminated are taxable wages under the...more

Supreme Court Rules Severance Payments are Subject to FICA

As we recently reported in the theHRBenefitsAuthority on March 11, 2014, the U. S. Supreme Court was expected to issue a ruling this year in United States v. Quality Stores Inc. on whether certain severance benefits are FICA...more

Be Sure to File a Protective Claim for FICA Taxes

The Supreme Court has agreed to review the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in United States v. Quality Stores which held that severance payments to involuntarily terminated employees were supplemental unemployment...more

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