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Good advice, Ann. Besides getting the organization fined, the person who authorized any excess benefit transaction violating the Intermediate Sanctions regulation (IRC 4958) also faces a personal fine of $10,000 per offense. A board member or an outside advisor (consultant) with knowledge of the act can be charged by the enforcement agency, which is either the IRS or the State Attorney General's office. Carelessness can be very expensive.

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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