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IRS’ Section 409A Compliance Initiative Project: Audits, Compliance and Correcting a Plan Failure

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DESCRIPTION

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) informally announced at recent public forums that it has launched a limited audit initiative to assess how well nonqualified deferred compensation plans are complying with the Internal Revenue Code’s (IRC) section 409A requirements. This is the first systematic section 409A compliance review the IRS as initiated in the ten years since the enactment of section 409A.

The IRS will later address the scope of the audit and which businesses are potential targets. The faculty presenting this program will discuss how to correct a section 409A failure should one arise and when a failure may be corrected under the IRS self-correction guidance. They will also discuss ways to avoid a section 409A failure and the benefits of self-correction audits to ensure compliance.

Educational Objectives:
• Understand the section 409A compliance initiative program.
• Learn about the benefit of self-compliance audits.
• Find out how to avoid a section 409A failure.
• Discover when a section 409A failure can be corrected under the IRS self-correction guidance.

Who would benefit most from attending this program?
In-house benefits counsel; outside benefits counsel; tax directors; internal auditors; executive compensation professionals; human resource professionals.

SPEAKERS

HELEN H. MORRISON, ERNST & YOUNG LLP

Helen Morrison is a Principal in Ernst & Young's Washington, D.C. National Tax Department Compensation and Benefits practice. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Morrison served from as the Deputy Benefits Tax Counsel in the Office of Benefits Tax Counsel for the Department of the Treasury. She played a lead role in the Administration's tax-related initiatives on health care reform and the Treasury Department's implementation of these provisions enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Morrison also served as a senior Treasury advisor on executive compensation matters including the section 409A deferred compensation rules, section 457A rules on deferred compensation for companies in "tax indifferent" jurisdictions, and other tax-related retirement and compensation matters. Before joining the Treasury Department, Ms. Morrison was a Partner in the Employee Benefits Practice of McDermott, Will & Emery.

Ms. Morrison earned a J.D. from Illinois Institute of Technology/Chicago-Kent College of Law and a bachelor's degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.


KEITH E. RANTA, JACKSON LEWIS P.C.

Keith Ranta is Of Counsel in the Baltimore office of Jackson Lewis P.C., where he is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits Practice Group. Mr. Ranta advises publicly and privately held companies on the design and implementation of qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, equity and incentive compensation plans, nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, and employment and severance agreements. He also advises clients on compensation and benefit plan issues arising in connection with public offerings, mergers, acquisitions and other corporate transactions. Mr. Ranta previously spent three years as an Attorney Advisor in the Executive Compensation Branch of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, where he worked on guidance projects and advised the IRS and other divisions within the Office of Chief Counsel on tax issues related to executive compensation arrangements. He is the Vice Chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the District of Columbia Bar Association and a member of the American Bar Association.

Mr. Ranta earned a J.D., cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a member of The Tax Lawyer, and a B.S. from Cornell University. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Massachusetts.


JOHN B. RICHARDS, IRS OFFICE OF CHIEF COUNSEL

John Richards is Senior Technician Reviewer responsible for executive compensation issues in the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel. He has been with the IRS for the past 14 years.

Mr. Richards earned an LL.M., with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center and a J.D., with honors, from DePaul College of Law.

 


THOMAS D. SCHOLZ, IRS OFFICE OF CHIEF COUNSEL

Thomas Scholz is Senior Technician Reviewer, Office of Division Counsel / Associate Chief Counsel, Tax-Exempt and Government Entities.