Deferred Compensation Unbound

15 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2020

See all articles by Michael Doran

Michael Doran

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: April 3, 2020


This paper argues for enactment of accrual-based taxation of deferred compensation. Changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 expanded the tax subsidy for deferred compensation, increasing an unjustifiable drain on federal revenues. Under accrual-based taxation, a corporate executive would include deferred compensation in gross income as soon as the deferred compensation vests. Accrual-based taxation better reflects economic income and removes the tax subsidy under current law.

Keywords: Tax, Tax Policy, Executive Compensation, Deferred Compensation, Corporate Governance

JEL Classification: H20

Suggested Citation

Doran, Michael, Deferred Compensation Unbound (April 3, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Michael Doran (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics