Senate Stays Up Late to Approve Tax Bill

Early in the morning on Saturday, December 2, 2017 (it was nearly 2 AM Eastern!), the Senate voted 51-49, drawn mostly along party lines, to pass its version of the tax reform bill described in our previous blog posts Thanksgiving Tax Frenzy – New Tax Bill Proposes Executive Compensation Changes That Could Derail Deferred Compensation and Stock Options on November 14 and Startups Have Much To Be Thankful For – Senate Amendments to New Tax Bill Remove Deferred Compensation and Stock Options from Endangered Species List on November 16. Members of the Senate had only a few hours to review what was deemed to be the final version of the Senate’s bill (which, interestingly, had edits hand-written in the margins), before the vote was held. Should the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act become law, it would represent the largest reform of the Internal Revenue Code since 1986. Continue Reading

Startups Have Much To Be Thankful For – Senate Amendments to New Tax Bill Remove Deferred Compensation and Stock Options from Endangered Species List

As discussed in our November 14, 2017 blog post, Thanksgiving Tax Frenzy – New Tax Bill Proposes Executive Compensation Changes That Could Derail Deferred Compensation and Stock Options, the evolution of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill in both the House and the Senate is very fluid. No sooner had we posted the previous entry when the Senate had modified its Chairman’s Mark on November 14, 2017. Start-ups and other entities granting executive compensation will have much to be thankful for because of this latest markup. This update reflects the state of the tax bills through November 15, 2017. Continue Reading

Thanksgiving Tax Frenzy – New Tax Bill Proposes Executive Compensation Changes That Could Derail Deferred Compensation and Stock Options

Congress has been in a frenzy to try and get new tax legislation passed by Thanksgiving, and members of the House and Senate would presumably rather be enjoying a feast rather than drafting and analyzing additional tax provisions when Turkey day rolls around. This blog addresses the executive compensation related provisions in the proposed new tax legislation which is likely to be voted on in the very near future. Continue Reading

At Last! Relaxation of Federal Securities Regulations for Private Company Stock Incentive Awards may be on the Horizon

Many privately held companies rely on equity compensation awards (typically stock options) to recruit, retain and motivate key employees and other service providers.  The issuance of such equity compensation awards generally needs to comply with, among other things, federal securities laws.  Most commonly, private company issuers of equity compensation awards rely on federal Rule 701 which provides an exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933. Continue Reading

Reminder to Perform Annual ISO/ESPP Reporting in January 2017

As discussed in our December 16, 2010 blog article, the IRS issued final regulations in 2009 under Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) that require Employers to annually furnish each employee who exercised incentive stock options (“ISOs”) or sold or otherwise transferred shares acquired under an employee stock purchase plan (“ESPP”) during a year with a detailed information statement by January 31 of the following year. In addition, Employers must generally file an information return with the IRS by February 28 of the following year, or by March 31 for Employers filing electronically.

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In Wake of Panama Papers Scandal Obama Calls for Stricter Bank Regulations, Tax Rules

In a news conference today President Obama addressed rules and proposed regulations announced Thursday intended to help the U.S. fight tax evasion and other crimes connected to anonymous offshore companies and accounts.  The announcements come after a month of intense review by the administration following the first release of the so-called Panama Papers, millions of documents stolen or leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack, Fonseca.  The papers have revealed a who’s who of international politicians, business leaders, sports figures and celebrities involved with financial transactions accomplished through anonymous shell corporations.

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Reminder to Perform Annual ISO/ESPP Reporting in January 2016

As discussed in our December 16, 2010 blog article, the IRS issued final regulations in 2009 under Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) that require Employers to annually furnish each employee who exercised incentive stock options (“ISOs”) or sold or otherwise transferred shares acquired under an employee stock purchase plan (“ESPP”) during a year with a detailed information statement by January 31 of the following year. In addition, Employers must generally file an information return with the IRS by February 28 of the following year, or by March 31 for Employers filing electronically. Continue Reading

Back To The Future – Should Stock Incentive Plans Impose Grant Limits on Non-Employee Director Awards?

On April 30, 2015, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware rendered an important case decision in a procedural matter dealing with the equity compensation  of non-employee members of a company’s board of directors (see Calma v. Templeton, Delaware Court of Chancery C.A. No. 9579-CB) (“Calma”).  As we discuss in this blog, companies may wish to evaluate their equity compensation plans and ascertain whether their process regarding non-employee director equity awards needs any adjustments in light of Calma. Continue Reading

Finally! SEC Proposes New Pay for Performance Disclosure Regulations

On April 29, 2015, in accordance with Section 953(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Reform Act”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued a press release and published proposed regulations (Release No. 34-74835) (the “Proposed Rules”) to require certain publicly-held companies to disclose the relationship between their financial performance and the compensation that is actually paid to their named executive officers. Continue Reading

As 2015 Proxy Season Looms, Companies Should Consider Scrutinizing Stock Incentive Plans and Equity Grant Practices in Light of New ISS Equity-Based Compensation Plan Scorecard Policy

As discussed in our October 21, 2014 blog article, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), a proxy voting advisor, instituted changes in its process for evaluating equity incentive compensation plan proposals which are being submitted for shareholder approval.  These changes were effective for shareholder meetings occurring on or after February 1, 2015.  ISS has released a FAQ on its new process which we discuss in this blog article.

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