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U.S. multinationals continue to heavily use equity-based compensation, such as stock options and restricted stock units ("RSUs"), to align the financial interests of employees of foreign subsidiaries throughout the world with shareholders, while also providing as an incentive the opportunity to share in any future appreciation in the company's stock.

As a consequence, these companies must navigate often complex and diverse laws in multiple countries, including securities laws, employment laws, and the always prominent tax laws.

Given the current global economic climate and each country's continuous hunt for new tax revenues, the tax withholding and reporting requirements governing stock-based compensation continue to garner a high degree of attention from tax authorities throughout the world, and perhaps stand as the greatest compliance risk for global companies using equity compensation internationally.

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