Options backdating cases
Also problematic is that if these terms are not met, the corporation is not prohibited from paying the compensation.Instead, it is prohibited from deducting that amount on its tax return. The ones who suffer are the shareholders—the same people who, even in this day of expanded compensation disclosures, are not provided with details on the executive compensation plans before being asked to vote on them, nor are they given information on the tax deductions taken or forfeited.Section 280(g) does not apply to periodic payments to employees, but rather to change in control payments.2 If the amount is equal to or greater than three times the covered individual’s average W-2 compensation for the prior five years, the company forfeits the tax deduction for that payment, and the individual is subject to a 20 percent excise tax on the excess payment.
Hence, this section will introduce the components of the compensation package, which are summarized in the chart titled “Components of the compensation package,” and discuss their tax consequences to the executive and to the company.
With respect to reducing excessive, non-performance-based compensation, many consider Section 162(m) a failure, including Christopher Cox, the then-chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who went so far as to suggest it belonged “in the museum of unintended consequences.” Sen. These sophisticated folks are working with Swiss-watch-like devices to game this Swiss-cheese-like rule.
Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the then-chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, was even more direct, saying: 162(m) is broken. Since Section 162(m) passed nearly 20 years ago, both academic and practitioner research has shown a dramatic increase in executive compensation, with little evidence that it is more closely tied to performance than before.
Section 162(m)(5) was adopted in 2008 and applies to the chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), and next three highest paid officers of public and private entities that accepted money under TARP.
Section 162(m)(6) becomes effective in 2013, and its limitations apply to most employees of health care providers.
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Section 4 will estimate the revenue loss associated with those deductions.