Tax-exempt organizations face special legal challenges in developing compensation packages for their executives. A new article published in the Lexis Practice Advisor provides practical guidance on developing benefits for executives of nonprofits.
This article is divided into the following main topics:
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made a number of changes affecting the compensation and benefits that governmental, church, and other tax-exempt organizations can provide to their employees. Given the short time between introduction and passage of the Act, it is not surprising that many of the new provisions are unclear in their application. Moreover, some of them may produce unintended consequences for these organizations.
As part of a symposium on “Recent Developments in Benefits/Executive Compensation Affecting Tax Exempt Organizations,” Carol V. Calhoun gave a presentation on the ways in which the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will affect the compensation and benefits of such organizations. A copy of the PowerPoint for her speech can be found at this link.
The recently passed tax bill imposes a 21% excise tax on excess compensation and excess severance benefits of certain executives of nonprofit and governmental employers. The provision has a substantial impact on the compensation and benefits that such organizations can provide for their executives. Moreover, the determination of which employers, and which executives, are covered includes several traps for the unwary.
Rev. Proc. 2013-12 for the first time allows 403(b) plans (tax-sheltered annuities or custodial accounts for employees of public schools, churches, and certain other tax-exempt organizations) the same ability to correct plan errors under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (“EPCRS”) as is provided in the case of qualified plans. The IRS has now issued a plain language “Fix-It Guide” for 403(b) plans that discusses common mistakes, how to avoid them, and how to fix them if they occur.