Businesses of all types and sizes throughout the United States, Mexico and beyond bring their disputes to Gardere's litigation team and receive practical, responsive, boutique-style attention in return. Our clients have access to the firepower and value of a well-known and highly-regarded Firm's capabilities and interdisciplinary strengths.
Gardere has a national and international energy practice formed around our Energy Industry Team, which is a multidisciplinary group of approximately 60 attorneys with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills specific to the energy industry. Our team includes attorneys who have served as in-house counsel for major energy companies, providing a depth of insight into our clients' needs, issues and concerns. We understand and regularly practice in virtually every sector of the energy, and we represent a wide variety of industry participants from multinational corporations to individuals.
From our offices in the United States and Mexico, our International Practice helps clients operate in today’s global economy. We have more than 30 professionals operating as a boutique within an Am Law 200 law firm and are able to provide focused service with the resources of a large firm. We understand that clients who are engaged in the global marketplace need lawyers who can operate seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions. Our international experts are multi-lingual, are culturally fluent and intimately familiar with various legal systems across the world, especially those in Latin America. Whether you need help with commercial transactions, regulatory matters, customs and import regulations, immigration matters, M&A and joint ventures, international disputes, or international tax planning, Gardere’s international team is here to assist you.
We represent domestic and foreign private funds in all aspects of fund formation, fund operations, platform and add-on acquisitions, and portfolio company operations. Our team has a reputation for being the go-to-lawyers for private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds and family offices. We are known for our vast deal experience, the efficient way we staff and manage our work, and the way we maintain our relationships. We get deals done with sophisticated, strategic, and practical advice tailored to the needs of our clients.
*Not admitted to practice law.
Does your public company reimburse employees’ business or moving expenses? Provide company vehicles, achievement awards, safety awards, education assistance, tuition reimbursements, company credit cards or other fringe benefits or expense reimbursements? Reward employees with gi
ft cards? If so, you should be aware the Internal Revenue Service is focused on fringe benefits as part of its efforts to close the “tax gap”.
Employers make available a wide variety of fringe benefit and reimbursement arrangements to employees, particularly executive employees. These benefits and reimbursements are considered taxable income to employees unless a specific exclusion exists under the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) and all of the applicable statutory requirements are satisfied (for example, documentation, substantiation, recordkeeping and, in some cases, nondiscrimination in favor of highly paid executive employees). In addition, there may be documentary compliance considerations with respect to certain reimbursement arrangements under section 409A of the Code.
Historically, the IRS has not aggressively pursued compliance with respect to the proper tax treatment of fringe benefits and reimbursement arrangements. More recently, however, the IRS has stated it believes that there is widespread noncompliance in this area. In 2010, the IRS embarked upon a three-year, 6000-employer National Research Project (“NRP”) employment tax audit initiative that is focused on fringe benefits (PDF) and reimbursement arrangements (PDF), payroll taxation issues, worker misclassification (i.e., independent contractor versus employee) and executive compensation issues. The ultimate purpose of the NRP employment tax audit initiative appears to be determination of the most common areas of noncompliance, which can then be targeted as a source of easy money for the government’s coffers.
OUR TAKE: Employers, including public companies, should review all existing fringe benefit and reimbursement arrangements, including those contained in executive employment and severance agreements, employee handbooks, as well as other formal and informal policies and programs to determine whether all such arrangements are administered, reported and taxed properly in accordance with all applicable statutory requirements.
*Many thanks to Lisa Christensen, a Gardere associate, for her contribution to this post.
The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.
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