Deferred Compensation

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Assignment 2: Deferred Compensation

Due Week 7 and worth 200 points

Deferred compensation is an arrangement in which a portion of an employee’s income is paid out at a later date after which the income was earned. Examples of deferred compensation include pensions, retirement plans, and employee stock options. As the tax manager of a large corporation, you must understand and communicate the taxability of deferred compensation in order to be prepared to fully educate human resources on the implications to the company’s employees.

Research the topic and write a six to eight (6-8) page paper in which you:

  1. Research the U.S. Tax Code to determine how your 401(k) deferred compensation is taxed. Determine whether the treatment is reasonable. Provide support for your conclusions.
  2. Assume that you have the authority to tax the current 401(k) contribution on the condition that you are not taxed upon distribution. Discuss the pros and cons of using this approach on both you and the federal government.
  3. Propose an alternative to the taxation for the 401(k) deferred compensation that would be fair to all taxpayers and support the financial needs of the federal government. Indicate substantive ways in which your recommendation would achieve fairness to taxpayers and the United States Treasury.
  4. Research recent IRS audit activities related to deferred compensation to determine the most frequent types of deferred compensation that would most likely trigger an IRS audit. Propose a strategy that you would use to defend a client facing an IRS challenge on deferred compensation.
  5. Use at least three (3) quality references. Note: Wikipedia and similar websites do not qualify as academic resources. You have access to Strayer University’s Online Library at and iCampus University Library Research page at

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Determine how to minimize individual income tax within specific risk and legal parameters.
  • Describe the inclusions and exclusions of gross income.

Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic / organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric.

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