S Corporation ESOP Traps for the Unwary
The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)
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An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is a powerful tool that can greatly benefit both employees and their employer. When an ESOP owns an S corporation, it is partially or wholly exempt from federal income taxation (and possibly state taxation, depending on the state), making it an even more powerful tool in many cases. There are clearly many benefits, financial and otherwise, associated with the S corporation ESOP model. However, since there is rarely a free lunch in the tax law, there are also various traps for the unwary in administering an S corporation ESOP. This publication, written by leading experts, describes some of these potential minefields and provides possible solutions to keep your ESOP and your company out of harm's way.