Our law firm provides legal representation and planning to businesses seeking various alternatives for compensating its employees. This includes guidance as to each plan’s availability from a federal tax perspective as well as the plan’s feasibility from an economic perspective. Compensation planning may involve the implementation of qualified plans for hundreds of employees or one of many non-qualified plans for the highly-compensated key employee. Regardless of the particular need, the firm works with the client to develop the most tax efficient and economically feasible alternative to meet the client’s compensation planning needs.
Compensation and Benefit Planning
Our firm provides legal representation to clients in the development and preparation of various types of equity-based compensation plans in order to encourage employees to contribute to the long-term growth and success of the business. Equity-based compensation may involve the provision of actual stock ownership to employees, such as qualified or non-qualified stock options, or the provision of a cash bonus to employees with the amount of such cash bonus tied to the value of the business (i.e. “phantom stock” or “stock appreciation rights”). The various types of equity-based compensation plans present different tax issues for both the business and the employee as well as ownership and control issues. Our firm assists clients in understanding the various types of equity-based compensation plans that are available and the issues involved with each plan so that the client can implement the type of plan that best suits the client’s objectives.
The firm also provides advice in employee benefit design and planning, both qualified plans and nonqualified deferred compensation plans, and welfare benefit plans. We provide expertise in planning for distributions from employee benefit plans, IRAs and other deferred income vehicles during life and after death with sophisticated beneficiary designation planning through individuals and trusts as an integral part of estate planning.
Deferred Compensation Structuring
Our firm’s tax attorneys provide innovative advice on, and planning solutions to, the various federal and state tax issues encountered by our clients. Our tax attorneys work closely with other attorneys in the firm to formulate an overall planning strategy that addresses all of the issues confronted by the client while minimizing the tax costs and maximizing the tax benefits. Our tax attorneys are experienced in federal and state tax planning for all phases in the life cycle of a business, from the formation through operations to the exit strategy. We represent closely held corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and individuals on the federal and state tax consequences of various business structures and advise on the most efficient tax structure in conducting their business activities. Our areas of representation for clients in taxation matters include:
- Incentive Stock Option (ISO) Plans
- Non-Qualified Stock Option (NSO) Plans
- Carried Interest Structures
- Restricted Stock Plans
- Stock Appreciation Rights (SAR) and Phantom Equity Plans
- Section 409A Compliance
- Cash Bonus Plans
- Welfare Benefit Plans
- Distribution Planning in Connection with Deferred Income Vehicles