The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could come out with regulations affecting the pay of employees at health insurance companies any day now. The regulations would implement Section 162(m)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
The drafters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) added the provision in an effort to control what some observers argued were costly, unreasonable executive pay packages.
IRC Section 162(m)(6) prohibits a publicly traded or privately held health insurer from deducting more than $500,000 in compensation and deferred compensation for any one officer, director or employee. The IRS put out draft regulations in April 2013.
Lawyers at EpsteinBeckerGreen said in a slide deck that they’re hoping the IRS will release guidance on the deduction limits by the end of the year. David Schnabel, the chair of the tax section at the New York State Bar Association, recently wrote to the IRS to say his group hopes the agency will make completing the final regulations a priority.
Michael Melbinger of Winston & Strawn L.L.P. wrote in a blog entry that he often gets questions about how a company can get around the restriction. ”Generally, it does not get around the limit,” Melbinger wrote. “It simply loses the deduction.” A company may be able to get some flexibility by making more use of qualified retirement plans, Melbinger wrote.