• Missouri Supreme Court Can't Take a Joke: "Rabbi Trust" Gives Rise to Business Income
  • April 24, 2014 | Author: Timothy A. Gustafson
  • Law Firm: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP - Sacramento Office
  • The Supreme Court of Missouri reversed and remanded a decision of the Administrative Hearing Commission and held that income from a “rabbi trust”—a trust established by a corporation to fund a nonqualified deferred compensation plan for company executives—constituted business income subject to apportionment and Missouri taxation. While agreeing with the Commission that the trust income did not satisfy the transactional test for business income, the Court held that the trust income was business income under the functional test. The Court reasoned that a successful business requires capable, productive management and executive leadership management just as it requires the tools of its trade, and by providing additional retirement compensation for its executives, the corporation attracted and retained top executives for the purpose of sustaining its current business operations. MINACT, Inc. v. Dir. of Revenue, No. SC93162 (Mo. Apr. 15, 2014). (It should be noted that the decision is not final until the expiration of the rehearing period. We will keep you apprised of any developments.)