by Ira B. Mirsky, David E. Rogers and Ruth Wimer

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently held that certain dismissal payments were Supplemental Unemployment Compensation Benefits (SUB) exempt from FICA taxes—a clear split with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in line with an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Revenue Ruling that significantly narrowed the criteria for determining whether certain separation payments qualify as SUB pay.  For employers that have made significant reductions in force payments in open years, the Quality Stores decision could lead to significant refunds of FICA tax.

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