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Mergers, Acquisitions and Other Transactions: Employer Considerations


Know the steps to consider in the merger and acquisition process and the general steps to consider in payroll due diligence.

In the last decade there has been significant transaction activity, so much so, that most large to mid-size organizations have experienced, at minimum, a reorganization. Learn about the vital role that employment tax professionals play throughout the transaction timeline, and in particular, during due diligence, at the time of the event, and retroactively, through a lookback review. Gain an understanding of employment tax considerations in the due diligence process; wage base carryovers and how they can impact the bottom line; state unemployment insurance rate assignments and what can go wrong subsequent to a partial and total acquisition; the federal employment tax reporting mechanics connected to mergers and acquisitions; considerations in a lookback review and steps to consider in the process and the general steps to consider in a merger and acquisition work plan.



Niko Arhos

Niko Arhos


  • Ernst & Young LLP’s Employment Tax Services based in Chicago
  • Advises clients on all matters of employment taxation and information reporting
  • Experience includes advising clients on federal and state taxation, withholding, and reporting requirements related to benefits provided through employer health plans under IRC §105 and §106, qualified pension plans, tax-sheltered annuity plans, deferred compensation plans under IRC §457, nonqualified deferred compensation plans under IRC §409A and employer stock benefit plans, including incentive stock options, employee stock purchase plans, nonqualified stock options, restricted stock awards, restricted stock units, and stock appreciation rights
  • IRC 401(k), IRC 403(b), and IRC 457 plan taxation requirements
  • Provision of strategic tax-focused regulatory and compliance consulting related to employee benefit plans for clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations, government entities, and other types of companies
  • Development of compliance controls and tax process improvement protocols around fringe benefit, health, retirement, nonqualified deferred compensation, and employee stock plans
  • Merger/acquisition/reorganization/divestiture employment tax due diligence and post-transactional planning, including assistance with IRC 280G and change in control implications
  • Worker classification determinations, compliance, risk management, and IRS audit defense
  • Inbound/outbound taxation and reporting implications for globally mobile workforces
  • Contributing editor of Principles of Payroll Administration, published by Thomson
  • Reuters/Research Institute of America, and is a contributor to Payroll Perspectives, a monthly EY publication
  • Frequent guest speaker for various industry and professional groups, including the American Payroll Association
  • Licensed attorney, authorized to practice law in the State of Illinois
  • •J.D. degree and an LL.M. degree in taxation, University of Illinois Chicago School of Law
Lily Wu

Lily Wu


  • Staff associate within Ernst & Young LLP’s Employment Tax Advisory Practice in Chicago, Illinois
  • Advises clients on federal and state unemployment insurance and withholding matters, as well as local income tax withholding matters
  • Regularly advises clients on transactional issues and the employment tax implications of business reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures
  • Regularly assists with state employment tax account compliance, including the preparation of account registrations and unemployment insurance experience rating transfer analysis and applications
  • Consults on multistate income tax withholding issues, non-employee compensation withholding issues, and federal and state Form 1099 series compliance
  • Prior to joining Ernst & Young LLP, she worked for Westbon Inc. as accountant for two years
  • LL.M. degree, School of Law, Loyola Marymount University; Master’s degree in Accountancy, DePaul University

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