Anne Batter is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Tax Practice Group with 25 years of tax experience. She focuses her practice on the tax treatment of executive compensation and fringe benefits arrangements. She also handles excise tax matters, particularly those involving the air transportation excise tax. She previously served as an attorney in the Income Tax & Accounting Division of the IRS’s Office of Chief Counsel and as attorney-advisor with the US Tax Court. Ms. Batter has been recognized by Legal 500 as a leading lawyer in the United States for complex executive compensation matters.
Ms. Batter focuses her practice on the federal and state taxation of compensation and benefits with an emphasis on the deductibility, reporting, withholding, and excise taxation of all forms of compensation other than qualified retirement plans. She regularly handles matters ranging from the treatment of equity compensation in mergers and acquisitions, to the design and administration of deferred compensation arrangements, to advising on the proper tax treatment of executive perquisites such as corporate aircraft, and workforce wide benefits such as employee hardship programs. Additionally, she works with clients on excise tax issues, particularly the air transportation excise tax.
Representative Legal Matters
- Obtained favorable private letter ruling (PLR 200945009) concluding that, where two individuals served as CFO for a company during the company’s taxable year, pursuant to IRS Notice 2007-49, both such individuals were exempt from the million dollar cap on executive compensation contained in Code section 162(m).
- Favorably resolved ongoing excise tax controversy between foreign airline and IRS concerning the air transportation excise tax due on inter-airline settlements, notwithstanding IRS guidance in Notice 2002-63 concluding that amounts paid by a foreign airline for frequent flyer miles generally are subject to excise tax under Code section 4261(e)(3).
- Currently advising numerous employers on methods of accelerating executive income taxation and/or FICA taxation in anticipation of expected tax increases. For example, in connection with the .09 percent increase in the withheld Medicare tax taking effect in 2013, advising clients on the application of the “early inclusion” rule under Code section 3121(v)(2), which is applicable to certain defined benefit arrangements.
- Advised large pharmaceutical corporation on application of “successor employer” rules, which can serve to reduce the company’s FICA tax burden in the context of internal restructuring and/or division of the company.
- Designed charitable giving program for large financial institution that allows employees to designate the recipients of the employer’s charitable contributions without the employee recognizing income or the employer forgoing any deductions.
- Assisting clients in filing and managing FICA tax refund claims in connection with severance pay, including obtaining IRS agreement to extend the time for filing in court.
- Served as lead counsel in Sutherland Lumber-Southwest, Inc. v. Commissioner, 114 T.C. 197 (2000), aff’d, 255 F.3d 495 (8th Cir. 2001), and Micron Technology, Inc. v. United States, US Court of Claims Docket No. 99-61T (2001).
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Bar Association - Section on Taxation
- District of Columbia Bar - Section on Taxation
- Wall Street Tax Association - Member
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit~United States (1999)
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims~United States (1997)
- U.S. Tax Court~United States (1997)
- U.S. Supreme Court~United States (1992)
- District of Columbia~United States (1988)
- Massachusetts~United States (1985)
- Harvard Law School (J.D.) (1985)
- University of Maryland (B.A. summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) (1982)
Co-author, "The Top 5 Tax Changes Under the Healthcare Reform Law," Tax Notes, 27 June 2011
Co-author, "Annual Bonus Plans: Managing Audit Exposure," The Tax Executive, Spring 2010
Co-author, "When Are Payments From an Employer not 'Wages' Subject to Employment Taxes," Journal of Taxation, December 2001