Alan Horowitz Comments on Quality Stores Decision in Tax Notes Today

"Severance Payments Subject to FICA Taxes, Supreme Court Holds"
Tax Notes Today
03.26.14Alan Horowitz was quoted regarding the Supreme Court's recent and unanimous Quality Stores decision in favor of the government, finding that the broad definition of wages under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) encompasses severance payments made to involuntarily terminated employees as part of the employer's chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Court's decision is significant for taxpayers, Horowitz said, because the government has stated that more than $1 billion was potentially at stake with all the claims that would be filed. Employers have lost an opportunity to obtain FICA tax refunds, Horowitz added, but it is "important to have a uniform nationwide rule so that they can efficiently administer their payroll obligations." As a result of the decision, employers will no longer need to file protective refund claims, and those taxpayers that have already done so will see them denied or ignored by the IRS.
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