GSS Holdings – A Reminder on Economic Substance and Step Transaction

Most tax law is made up of very detailed statutes, regulations, case law, and other guidance. Layered on top of that body of law are a number of “judicial doctrines” that seek to serve as a backstop to formalistic analyses that could result in unintended tax results, allow taxpayers to place the form of transactions…
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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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Is a Revocable Trust a Trust (and Related Topics)?

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently issued an opinion that discusses a number of topics especially important to asset protection and trust attorneys.[1] Some of the issues discussed involve trust law, tax law, asset protection law, and contract law. As recognized in the dissent, the court’s conclusions on a number of these issues…
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Taxpayer Loses Royalty Tax Case Appeal

In a recent appellate decision from the Ninth Circuit, a taxpayer/attorney/neurosurgeon/corporate shareholder who helped develop a patented imaging technology was held liable for ordinary income assessments with respect to annual royalty payments related to patent royalty income. Facts Dr. Aaron Filler, a licensed attorney and neurosurgeon, contributed to the development of a certain Diffusion Tensor…
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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.…
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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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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…
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Deny It Like It’s TOT – Conservation Easement Denial Upheld

It is no secret. Everyone likes reading and writing about syndicated conservation easements. In December 2019, the Tax Court ruled in the case of TOT Property Holdings LLC v. Comm’r.[1] The result was an unfavorable one for the taxpayer. The transaction in question was more-or-less a run of the mill syndicated conservation easement, albeit ending…
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