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Tax Gross-Ups: Down But Not Out
With the U.S. national unemployment rate lingering above 9%, many are trying to identify the issues responsible for the current situation. Often, the blame is placed on excessive executive compensation. In particular, tax gross-ups have become a major point of contention with shareholders, politicians and shareholder advisory services. Companies are torn between protecting their key executives and appeasing groups that have rallied against tax gross-ups. Taxand US analyses the effect of tax gross-up the trends in Section 280G excise tax protection.
Pressure from shareholders, politicians, shareholder advisory services and others has prompted many companies to reconsider their approach to excise tax gross-ups. While removing gross-ups or modified gross-ups may initially appease shareholders, it could have negative long-term ramifications. Firms need to explore all of their options to find the solution that best benefits the executive and shareholders. Companies wanting to remove gross-ups should consider implementing a valley provision that provides a benefit to the executive at no additional cost to the company. Not all policies fit a standard mould, and some firms use unique excise tax provisions to retain top talent. Lastly, to avoid Section 409A complications, companies should specify the order in which parachute payments are cut back and re-examine the exact events (single trigger vs. double trigger) that entitle the executives to the gross-up payment.Your Taxand contact for further queries is:
J. D. Ivy
T. +1 214 438 1028