The IRS has issued interim guidance on the excise tax payable by exempt organizations on remuneration in excess of $1 million and any excess parachute payments made to certain highly compensated current and former employees in the tax year. The excise tax imposed by Code Sec. 4960 is equal to the maximum corporate tax rate on income (currently 21 percent).

Q&A on Section 4960

The current guidance is contained in a Question-and-Answer format. The interim guidance addresses:

  • general application of Code Sec. 4960;
  • applicable tax-exempt organizations and related organizations;
  • covered employees;
  • excess remuneration;
  • medical and veterinary services;
  • excess parachute payments;
  • three-times-base-amount test for parachute payments;
  • computation of excess parachute payments;
  • reporting liability under Section 4960;
  • miscellaneous issues; and
  • the effective date.


The IRS intends to issue proposed regulations under Code Sec. 4960 which will incorporate the interim guidance. Until future guidance is issued, taxpayers may rely on the rules in the interim guidance from December 22, 2017. Any future guidance will be prospective and will not apply to tax years beginning before the guidance is issued. Until additional guidance is issued, taxpayers may base their positions upon a good faith, reasonable interpretation of the statute and legislative history, where appropriate. Specifically, the positions reflected in the guidance constitute a good faith and reasonable interpretation.

Comments Requested

The IRS and Treasury Department request comments on the topics addressed in the interim guidance and any other issues arising under Code Sec. 4960. Comments should be submitted no later than April 2, 2019.