IRS Reverses Position on Modifying Irrevocable Grantor Trusts

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Private Letter Ruling (“PLR”) 201647001 in November of 2016, in which it took the position that a modification to an irrevocable grantor trust to add a discretionary income tax reimbursement clause did not change the beneficial interests in the trust, and therefore did not result in a gift, because…
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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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Hoensheid: Assignment of Income and Gift Substantiation

It is fairly common to make charitable gifts of property prior to a sale transaction. Often, those gifts are of real property or closely-held business interests. This is for good reason. Structured properly, not only do donors generally receive a charitable income tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the donated property, they…
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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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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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IRS Eases Portability Late Relief with Rev. Proc. 2022-32

“Portability” is the ability of a surviving spouse to elect to add his or her predeceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption to their own estate tax exemption. For many clients, adoption of portability in 2010 (and making portability permanent in 2012) meant that complicated estate plans could be greatly simplified. Prior to portability, any unused…
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New Estate and Gift Tax Clawback Proposed Regulations

On November 26, 2019, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued final regulations under Section 2010 which provided taxpayers with some much needed assurance that they would not be punished for utilizing their gift and estate tax exclusion (“Exclusion”) during their lifetime if Exclusion amounts were lower when they died (“Anti-Clawback Regulations”).[1] See Josh Sage’s…
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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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