Is a Revocable Trust a Trust (and Related Topics)?

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently issued an opinion that discusses a number of topics especially important to asset protection and trust attorneys.[1] Some of the issues discussed involve trust law, tax law, asset protection law, and contract law. As recognized in the dissent, the court’s conclusions on a number of these issues…
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Taxpayer Loses Royalty Tax Case Appeal

In a recent appellate decision from the Ninth Circuit, a taxpayer/attorney/neurosurgeon/corporate shareholder who helped develop a patented imaging technology was held liable for ordinary income assessments with respect to annual royalty payments related to patent royalty income. Facts Dr. Aaron Filler, a licensed attorney and neurosurgeon, contributed to the development of a certain Diffusion Tensor…
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Checks Written Before But Cashed After Death Includible in Gross Estate

In a recent Tax Court case[1], the Court held that the combined value of ten checks written prior to the decedent’s death, but cashed after his death, was included in the gross estate of the decedent. However, as discussed below, the IRS had conceded that three of the ten checks were not included in the…
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Private Jet Charitable Deduction Fails for Lack of Substantiation

In Izen v. Comm’r, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a Tax Court decision to deny a taxpayer’s charitable contribution deduction where the taxpayer failed to meet the statutory documentation requirements for the charitable contribution.[1] The key documentation that the taxpayer lacked was a contemporaneous written acknowledgement that included his taxpayer identification number.…
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Change your Facts, Same Tax

Generally speaking, tax follows the facts. One can of course change those facts, but when done so merely superficially, intended results may not follow. Some may be more familiar with the phrase “putting lipstick on a pig.” Well, that seems to be more or less the case in the recent opinion released in the Eighth…
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Deductibility of Son-in-Law’s Tuition Expense

In the recent Tax Court Opinion of Sherwin Community Painters, Inc. v. Comm’r, a corporation was denied a Section 162 business deduction for amounts paid for the boyfriend of the sole shareholder’s daughter to take a course in coding.[1] Gray Edmondson discussed the importance of being in a trade or business years ago, one of…
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Once Again, the “Tax Plan” Fails

On February 2, 2022, the Tax Court issued a memorandum opinion in the case of John M. Larson (“Larson”).[1] This case involves a dispute going back more than 20 years. Mr. Larson was an attorney and CPA. He and two other men, Robert A. Plaff and David Amir Makov, promoted a fraudulent tax shelter transaction…
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Fab Holdings – It is called the “Tax Plan”

In another recent case involving a multi-entity tax savings strategy, pitched as the “integrated tax plan,” particularly leveraging “management fees,” we see again the Tax Court scrutinizing the legitimacy of the structure, incorporating a C corporation and a partnership, and in turn allowing the IRS to whipsaw the taxpayers.[1] Facts Around late 2009 through early…
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