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.…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More

Advanced SLAT Issues

In a previous article, we discussed the basics of Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (“SLATs”).[1] Generally, SLATs are irrevocable trusts established by one spouse during such spouse’s lifetime with the other spouse being a beneficiary of the trust. Often both spouses will establish a SLAT, but they must be carefully structured and administered to prevent application…
Read More

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…
Read More

Recent CCA Addresses Valuations

The IRS Office of Chief Counsel recently issued CCA 202152018 (“CCA”), in which the IRS is attacking yet another business valuation.[1] The IRS takes the  position in the CCA that because the valuation used failed to account for a potential acquisition, the grantor retained annuity trust (“GRAT”) failed to properly qualify as a GRAT even…
Read More

Corporate Transparency Act Update – Proposed Regulations

Josh Sage discussed the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) in his January 2021 article,[1] and I wrote a follow-up summary last July.[2] The CTA requires certain U.S. businesses, absent an exemption, to file beneficial ownership information with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). This could result in burdensome reporting obligations for those businesses. As I discussed…
Read More

Heiting and the Claim of Right Doctrine

In the Heiting v. United States[1] decision issued on October 18, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed a district court decision[2] to dismiss a couple’s claim for a refund of taxes, rejecting the taxpayers’ argument that the repurchase of restricted stock previously sold by their trustee was effectively a…
Read More

Proposed Tax Changes in the Updated Build Back Better Act

Earlier this year I discussed President Joe Biden’s proposed tax policies, which was prepared in anticipation of President Biden’s impending announcement regarding the Build Back Better Act.[1] As we approach the end of the Biden administration’s first year, tax professionals are on the edge of their seat. A plethora of different legislative changes directed at…
Read More

Michael Jackson’s Estate, Valuation Battle of the Century

In May of this year the U.S. Tax Court issued a memorandum of opinion on the value of several assets included in the Estate of Michael Jackson (“Estate”) for federal estate tax purposes.[1] This opinion comes more than a decade after Jackson’s death in June of 2009 and provides some resolution (albeit subject to appeal)…
Read More