Tales of Hoffman: Postmortem Planning for Actor’s Estate

2013-07-catastrophe-122552905The tragic death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has given us an opportunity to consider his estate planning, with lessons and strategies for the rest of us. Continue reading

Litigators: Be Alert for Tax Issues

466026551Many litigators are grateful to believe they’ve left tax law behind in law school. But that belief can cost your client. Continue reading

The Net, Net Gift That Keeps on Giving (But It’s Risky)

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Good news, bad news. The Tax Court has approved a gift tax avoidance scheme, but there’s a catch. Continue reading

Tell It to the (Tax Court) Judge: If You Prefer District Court, Pay the Tax First and Then Ask for a Refund

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Michael Jackson is back in the news. The IRS added some $700 million to the reported value of Jackson’s estate, based on posthumous publicity rights valued by the estate at $1200. The news brought to light an interesting issue: To get a regular trial with a district judge on a tax deficiency, you have to pay the tax first. Continue reading

Portability—Game Changer for Estate Planning or More of the Same?

148037463Estate planners are taking a second look at portability—the use of a deceased spouse’s lifetime exclusion by the surviving spouse—now that the law on this subject has been made permanent. Continue reading

Going to the Chapel in Another State: IRS Ruling Extends Same-Sex Marriage to Couples Nationwide

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In a swift and decisive ruling, the IRS concluded that same-sex couples lawfully married in the state of celebration are married for federal tax purposes regardless of residence. Rev Rul 2013–17. The ruling effectively extends same-sex marriage to couples nationwide. Continue reading

IRS is Very Strict When It Comes to Charitable Contribution Rules

blog-140237960v2Most people feel really great when they donate to charity, and the accompanying tax deduction can make the gift even sweeter. But recent cases show that the IRS is demanding strict compliance with its rules on substantiating charitable contributions, and messing up can mean losing the entire deduction. Continue reading

Second Bite at the Apple: How Unregistered Domestic Partners (and Other Cotenants) Can Still Avoid Property Tax Reassessment

tax_123145005Do you own a house with someone and don’t want to register as domestic partners, but you still want an exclusion from a change in ownership for property tax purposes when you die? Now you can. Here’s how it works. Continue reading

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