Can the IRS Levy on Trust Assets?

Most people believe that assets held in trust for their benefit, at least to the extent the trust assets were left in trust by a third party (such as, for example, a parent), to be exempt from the claims of their creditors. As a general rule, this belief is well founded. However, as for claims…
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Conservation Easements: The Importance of Proper Planning and Compliance

The United States Tax Court recently decided yet another case[1] involving conservation easements and the corresponding charitable contribution deduction. Such cases have been prevalent lately, although recent cases have dealt more with syndicated conservation easements and the IRS’s failure to follow certain procedural rules.[2] In the subject case of this article, however, the Court, for…
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Gifts to Employees – Fields v. Commissioner

Being in the midst of the holiday season, many people are making gifts to friends, family members, employees, and others important to them. Rarely is much thought given to the income tax consequences of such gifts. A recent case from the Tax Court illustrates how gifts between an employer and employee are treated.[1] Income Tax…
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The Importance of a Properly Prepared Form 709 Gift Tax Return

In a prior article, I wrote about the importance of properly prepared Form 706 Estate Tax Return, discussing a Private Letter Ruling (“PLR”) that highlighted some common mistakes made on the Form 706.[1] In that article, I discussed issues related to the marital deduction and the allocation of a decedent’s unused Generation Skipping Transfer Tax…
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Post-Settlement Tax Woes – Tillman-Kelly

In a recent case from the Tax Court, two married taxpayers failed to establish that their settlement proceeds fell within a statutory exception to taxation.[1] This case is a bit more straightforward than others we may write about from time to time. Factual Background In September 2009, Chicago State University (“CSU”) hired Mr. Bryant Tillman-Kelly…
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Corporation Denied Deduction Where Compensation Paid to Officer Was Unreasonably High

Reasonable compensation has been a relatively hot topic this year. Charles Allen previously discussed the Blossom case in which the taxpayers were penalized for understating the compensation of the two owners/officers of an S corporation.[1] While Charles’s discussion focused on employment taxation, Josh Sage followed up with an article on the resulting income taxation consequences…
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Goodbye Notice 2017-10

In a recent full Tax Court opinion[1], the Tax Court set aside Notice 2017-10, holding IRC § 6662A penalties are not to be imposed upon the taxpayer.[2] The Court’s reasoning was that the IRS failed to properly follow the notice-and-comment procedure, required under the Administrative Procedure Act. On December 23, 2016, the IRS issued Notice…
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Cross Refined Coal: A Partnership Recap

“If the government treats tax-advantaged transactions as shams unless they make economic sense on a pre-tax basis, then it takes away with the executive hand what it gives with the legislative.”[1] Despite these words issued by the Ninth Circuit in 1995, the Internal Revenue Service continues to challenge certain investments that Congress expressly encourages through…
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