Retention bonus

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May 6, 2010 10:32 am

Any one out there have experience fighting the retention bonus payback? Specifically with the A.G. Edwards, Wachovia, Wells Fargo contract? I understand there are several class action law suits moving ahead but with other firms.

Any accountants/tax experts looking at the fact that the bonus money is taxed in the year you receive  and then you pay back the loan over time if you remain at the firm, so how is this income? If you leave the firm you are required to pay back the remaining amount, again how is this income when you have to pay it back?

Given the original contract was signed with Wachovia the assumption was or at least the presentation from the company was that the company culture would remain relatively the same, this seems like a gross misrepresentation given the sale to WF and the subsequent payout reductions, letters to clients telling them to take it or leave it regarding the new charges to their accounts, and the work environment becoming increasingly hostile.

Anyone gone to arbitration on this?

May 6, 2010 11:02 am

You don't pay back the loan over time.  it is foregiven over time (if you stay).  That's why it's taxable income.  And as far as I knew (but I guess I'm wrong), I thought it was taxed in the year it was foregiven, not the year you received it, since it was fronted to you as loan money, not compensation.  Loan foregiveness is the taxable income you received.