Wagner Logo

Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook 







For 30 years, Mark Poerio has been in private practice with a focus on executive compensation, employee benefits, and fiduciary matters, especially from a business, governance, tax, securities, and litigation perspective. He currently serves as President of the prestigious American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, and on the executive board of the American Benefits Council.


Mark's clients include public and private companies, and he has significant experience with not-for-profit organizations. His business oriented pay-for-performance approach has led to his role as special counsel to compensation committees, as well as to his spearheading of projects designed to link executive compensation both to corporate goals and to the enforcement of post-employment covenants relating to trade secrets and restrictive covenants (such as non-competes).



Mark also teaches at Georgetown Law - with his past courses focusing on executive compensation and governance, the design of benefit plans and employment-related agreements, and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).




The Wagner Law Group

The Wagner Law Group is a nationally recognized practice in the areas of ERISA and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor and human resources and investment management.


Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group is dedicated to the highest standards of integrity, excellence and thought leadership and is considered to be amongst the nation's premier ERISA and employee benefits law firms. The firm has eight offices across the country, providing unparalleled legal advice to its clients, including large, small and nonprofit corporations as well as individuals and government entities worldwide. The Wagner Law Group's 34 attorneys, senior benefits consultant and five paralegals combine many years of experience in their fields of practice with a variety of backgrounds. Nine of the attorneys are AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and seven are Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, an invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee benefits lawyers.  Five of the firm's attorneys have been named to the prestigious Super Lawyers list for 2017, which highlights outstanding lawyers based on a rigorous selection process.










Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group


  Integrity | Excellence



Tel: (617) 357-5200 

Fax: (617) 357-5250 

99 Summer Street 

13th Floor

Boston, MA 02110


Washington, D.C.

Tel: (202) 969-2800


Fax: (202) 969-2568

 800 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.

Suite 810

Washington, D.C. 20006



Tel: (847) 990-9034

Fax: (847) 557-1312

190 South LaSalle Street

Suite 2100

Chicago, IL 60603



Palm Beach Gardens 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Suite 125
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418



Tel: (813) 603-2959

Fax: (813) 603-2961

101 East Kennedy Boulevard

Suite 2140
Tampa, FL  33602 


San Francisco

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 358-8300

300 Montgomery Street

Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94104


St. Louis

Tel: (314) 236-0065

Fax: (314) 236-5743
25 W. Moody Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63119


Lincoln, MA

Tel: (617) 532-8080

Fax: (617) 532-8090

 55 Old Bedford Road

Suite 303

Lincoln, MA  01773










Law Alert


Tax Exempt Organizations: Get Your Filings Right -

Or Else...




At the IRS, does anyone really read Form 990s, 990-EZs, and 990-PFs? Interestingly, the first level reader is apparently not a human . . . but an IRS computer. Those who prepare 990 filings should take notice because their mistakes could trigger an IRS audit.


The IRS warns of this in its March 19th report, which references improvements to its "case selection modeling technique" for reviewing Form 990 filings. Quantitatively, the IRS explains that its filters singled out 1,505 returns in the past fiscal year, with 83% being found to require changes.


Overlooked and inconsistent responses seem the most likely to create problems for tax exempt organizations. Consider, for instance, the executive compensation disclosures that Form 990s require under Line 15 of Part VI, as well as under Schedule J (if applicable). Both relate to whether compensation decisions have been made in a manner that qualifies for a rebuttable presumption of reasonableness based on satisfying the requirements set forth in Treasury Regulation §53.4958-6. Inconsistent responses have been known - or suspected - to trigger audits.


The following checklists provides comprehensive tips, as well as suggestions for avoiding audit triggers:



Here are two final suggestions. First, avoid guesswork or ambiguities in your 990 filings. Full, careful disclosure usually provides the best response to a filing question, and serves as the best defense if IRS questions later arise. Second, don't be afraid to seek professional input in cases of doubt (or, occasionally, for peace of mind). It is better to have your CPA or attorney find your stumbles, than to have a programming filter trip you into an IRS audit.






This Newsletter is protected by copyright. Material appearing herein may be reproduced with appropriate credit.


This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.