Nonqualified Deferred Income

Can You Defer Your 2016 Income To 2017?

The end of the year is the perfect time for taxpayers to make financial adjustments to lower their tax bill for the current year. Making adjustments to income may help reduce tax liability. Income is typically taxed in the year it is received, however, if you don’t have to pay tax today and may pay it tomorrow, why not? Deferring income is an excellent strategy to lower an annual tax bill. However, only taxpayers that expect their tax bracket to remain the same or decrease to a lower bracket should defer income.

Christine C. Peterson, et al. v. Commissioner of IRS – Retirement Payments May Be Deferred Compensation

In a case of first impression, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that payments from a Mary Kay retirement program to one of its retired salespersons were earnings subject to self-employment tax. This holding was based upon the fact that the plan under which the payments had been made was amended by Mary Kay to comply with the new tax rules under I.R.C. § 409A. (Peterson v. Commissioner No. 14-15773 (11th Cir. May 24, 2016). The IRS considered the payments as nonqualified deferred income from a § 409A plan, therefore subject to the provisions of § 409A, and assessed the Petersons a hefty bill for unpaid self-employment tax.