Sunday, June 5, 2011
Ryan M. Vassar
(J.D. 2011, South Texas) has posted Economically Analyzing the Definition of 'Reasonable Compensation' as It Relates to Employment-Tax Liability Under the Analysis of David E. Watson, P.C. v. United States
on SSRN. Here is the abstract
This note analyzes the “definition” of “reasonable compensation” under the IRS's revenue ruling and how the Tax Code applies that definition in determining employment-tax liability. The revenue ruling requires compensation to shareholder-employees of a small corporation to be reasonable. The IRS’s subsequent re-characterization of “unreasonable” payments – i.e., those that should have been originally characterized as wages – subjects the re-characterized portion to penalties, interest, and additional taxes; specifically, taxes under the FICA. The case, here, involves a shareholder-employee of a Subchapter S corporation. The IRS challenged the shareholder-employee’s amount of FICA-tax liability after determining his salary was unreasonably low, by re-characterizing a portion of his distributions, or dividends, he received from his S-corporation.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage: