Is a Trust a Legal Entity? If Not, What is It?

Recently, an attorney friend of mine involved in a family legal matter concerning trust administration called to ask me what probably seemed like a simple question – is a trust a legal entity? The point of the question related to procedural aspects of trust administration, issues involving duties of the attorney involved, and related considerations.…
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Monetized Installment Sales – Proposed Regulations will Lead to Burdensome Reporting Requirements and Increased Scrutiny

Monetized Installment Sales, as previously written upon by Gray Edmondson,[1] have been subject to increased scrutiny by the IRS in recent years, making its “Dirty Dozen” list in each of the last three years.[2] The IRS remains on the offensive in scrutinizing such transactions, issuing proposed regulation under Internal Revenue Code Section 6011 in August…
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Threading the Needle – The Utility and Structural Requirements of ING Trusts

Estate planners and tax practitioners have been utilizing incomplete non-grantor trusts, or “ING” trusts, with increased frequency. ING trusts can be utilized for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, federal income tax planning,[1] asset protection, planning for qualified small business stock benefits, income shifting through distributions to descendants, and others. While this…
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Non-Recourse Debt Forgiveness Bites Shareholder Upon Forgiveness

How is relief of debt treated for tax purposes? Does it matter if the debt is recourse or non-recourse? Does it matter if the debtor is a separate entity guaranteed by the owner(s)? Does it matter if the debt is forgiven as part of a sale of property securing the debt? These issues were addressed…
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Where Should You form Your New LLC – Creditors’ Rights?

Clients often ask where they should form a new legal entity to obtain the best creditor protection. Blogs, marketing materials, and similar items often tout one or another jurisdiction as the best place to form legal entities. It certainly is the case that state laws differ. One of those areas is in “charging order” protections…
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2023 Dirty Dozen List

Every year the IRS publishes its list of the top tax scams that taxpayers should be aware of, known as the Dirty Dozen. I discussed the IRS’s 2021 Dirty Dozen list in a prior web article,[1] and the IRS has recently released its 2023 Dirty Dozen list.[2] Several of these scams are designed to steal…
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Fixing S Corporation Problems Just Got a Lot Easier

Tax rules relating to S corporations are a frequent and often time-consuming problem. With the release of Revenue Procedure 2022-19[1], the IRS just made it easier for S corporations to confirm compliance with tax rules and also has eased the administrative burden on the IRS in dealing with these taxpayers. The Internal Revenue Code provides…
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Incomplete Non-Grantor Trusts: A Tax Planning Tool

In recent years, estate planners and tax practitioners have been utilizing incomplete non-grantor trusts, or ING trusts, with increased frequency. The most common use of ING trusts has been to minimize state income taxes, but an often-overlooked aspect of ING trusts is their effectiveness as a tax planning tool at the federal level. ING trusts…
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