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Ruth Wimer, Esq., certified public accountant (CPA), focuses her practice on matters related to executive compensation, including international, fringe benefits, personal use of employer aircraft, and qualified and nonqualified deferred compensation. Read Ruth Wimer's full bio.

In a surprising decision, the US Tax Court (Tax Court) concluded that the pregame away-city meals provided to the Boston Bruins hockey team was not subject to the 50 percent deduction disallowance on the basis that the meals were both for the “convenience of the employer” and were provided at an “employer operated eating facility.”

On April 5, 2017, in an unanimous court reviewed opinion, the United States Tax Court determined that disclosure of a worker’s tax return information to absolve the employer from liabilities arising out of the employer’s withholding requirement is not subject to the general prohibition against disclosing taxpayer return information pursuant to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6103, and does not shift the burden of proof to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In Mescalero Apache Tribe v. Commissioner, 148 T.C. 11 (2017), the IRS determined that a number of the Mescalero Apache Tribe’s workers were not independent contractors, but employees. If the IRS prevailed in its worker reclassification determination then, as the employer, the Mescalero Apache Tribe would be jointly and severally liable for Federal income tax that should have been withheld on the workers’ earnings. To prevent double taxation, IRC Section 3402(d) provides that the IRS cannot collect from the employer the withholding tax liability if the employees have already paid income tax on their earnings. To prove its position that the workers were independent contractors and alternatively to reduce any potential withholding tax liability if the workers were classified as employees, the Mescalero Apache Tribe asked each worker to complete Form 4669, Statement of Payments Received. However, the Mescalero Apache Tribe had trouble locating each of its workers because many had moved or lived in hard-to-reach areas without phone service or basic utilities.
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Reasonable compensation is a fact based analysis, and once again has been decided against the taxpayer. In Transupport, Inc. v Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2016-216, the issue presented for decision was whether amounts deducted by the taxpayer, a distributor and supplier of aircraft engines and parts, during 2006‒2008 as compensation that was paid to the four sons of taxpayer’s president and majority shareholder were reasonable and deductible pursuant to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 162 and whether accuracy related penalties applied. In 2005, the president and 98-percent owner of Transupport, gifted and sold shares in equal percentages to his four sons. The president and his four sons were the sole employees and officers for the tax years at issue. The president determined the compensation payable to his sons without consultation with his accountant or anyone else, and the only factors considered were reduction of reported taxable income, equal treatment of each son and share ownership.
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