The Pros and Cons of Lifetime Gifting

Under current law, the unified credit against estate and gift tax sits at $10,000,000, subject to indexing for inflation (the “Exemption”).[1] As a result of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, this number increased from $5,000,000 effective January 1, 2018 and through December 31, 2025, with the number set to drop back down to $5,000,000on…
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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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Taxpayer Denied Contribution Deduction to Sole Proprietorship Profit-Sharing Plan for Income Paid Under Deferred Compensation Plan of Prior Employer

In a recent Tax Court case, a taxpayer was denied a contribution deduction for income paid into a sole proprietorship profit-sharing plan when the Court determined that such income had not been derived from the trade or business with respect to which the plan was established.[1] Rather, the income was paid to the taxpayer under…
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FBAR Penalties Not Subject to Pay to Play Rule

In a recent case out of the United States Court of Federal Claims, the Court held that the plaintiff was not required to pay the full amount of the assessed Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”) penalty in order for the Court to have jurisdiction over a suit for refund.[1] The Court of…
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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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Start Up Capitalized Costs or Deductible Business Expenses?

When starting a new business, an important consideration to is to determine at what point expenses become deductible as a business expense under §162[1] as opposed to being classified as startup expenditures which must be amortized over 15 years under §195[2]? In general, expenses eligible to be deducted as an ordinary and necessary expense of…
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