Nonqualified Deferred 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.

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