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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Inheritance Planning

A recent survey prepared by The Motley Fool found that two-thirds of high-net-worth individuals are concerned about leaving their descendants too much inheritance.[1] Interestingly, the larger the inheritance received by those participating in the survey, the more likely they were to express these concerns. The predominate concerns included: Inheritance would be used irresponsibly (58.74%); Beneficiaries…
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Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts Basics

Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (“SLATs”) are one of the many estate planning tools available to taxpayers, and have seen a surge in popularity recently, such that they are one of the most used options for utilizing taxpayers’ federal lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion (“Exclusion”) during life. Each taxpayer’s Exclusion amount, or the amount which…
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Court Says No to IRS Attempt to Aggregate Gifts for Discount Purposes

In a recent case out of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, the Court denied the IRS’ motion for summary judgment and refused to aggregate the gift of partial interests in real estate together for purposes of valuing the gifts and thus determining appropriate discounts.[1] The IRS alleged that no discount…
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Holmes v. Taxpayer: Pankratz and Unreliable Reliance

On March 3, 2021, the Tax Court issued a new opinion in Pankratz v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo 2021-26. This case is a good reminder of some of the good faith and reasonable reliance rules to avoid penalties. The opinion, authored by Judge Holmes, was a typical Holmes’ opinion. It told a detailed story of the…
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Installment Method of Income Recognition – The Basics

It is quite common in transactions for the seller to accept a promissory note with payments over time rather than being paid the full purchase price up front. In this situation, if the taxpayer were to be taxed on the full amount of income at the time of the transaction, but not be paid the…
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Remote Working – From a Tax Perspective

As taxpayers are preparing their 2020 income tax returns, several will face questions related to remote working. Can they deduct employment related expenses for new furniture, new equipment, and other items to facilitate working remotely? Can they take a home office deduction? In what state(s) should they file income tax returns? These questions are nothing…
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The Swing of the Tax Pendulum and Planning Considerations

Here we are coming upon the fourth anniversary of the one of the most shocking nights of our country since perhaps the Battle of Saratoga and one of the largest cash outlays by our government ever known by means of the CARES Act. On the heels of these events Democrats are setting the stage to…
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