Mere Change in Form

It is a basic principle of the income tax that the gain or loss realized by a taxpayer from the conversion of property into cash, or from the exchange of property for other property that differs materially in kind from the exchanged property, is treated as realized income or loss.

Moreover, the general rule with respect to such realized gain or loss is that the entire amount thereof is recognized for purposes of determining the taxpayer’s income tax liability,[i] except in cases where the Code specifically provides otherwise.[ii]Continue Reading Trust Beneficiary Engages In Like Kind Exchange Using Trust Property

Death of a Parent

In the context of a family-owned business, it is often the case that the matriarch or patriarch of the family is also the chief executive of the business. They may have founded the business, or they may have been at its helm for longer than most can remember. This individual’s strength of character, knowledge of the business, reputation in the industry, and experience, are resources that are nearly impossible to replace anywhere near as quickly as the family and the business would like. In other words, their passing may turn out to be the most disruptive event in the history of the business.Continue Reading Transferee Liability for Estate Tax: The Downside of Being a Beneficiary

Estate Tax – It’s a Killer

One of the reasons often given for eliminating the estate tax is the substantial economic burden it places upon the estate of a deceased business owner and upon the business itself. Specifically, within nine months of the owner’s death, their estate is required to satisfy its federal estate tax liability, which is determined by applying a 40 percent tax rate to the date of death value of the decedent’s assets, including their interest in the business.[i]Continue Reading Corporate-Owned Life Insurance, a Redemption, and The Value of a Decedent’s Stock

It is a fact that the phenomenon of human migration has been a major force in the history of the world.[i]

Indeed, among the themes that have remained constant during my years of practice, there are two that may be described, semi-facetiously, as modern manifestations of humanity’s migratory tendencies.
Continue Reading Moving to the U.S.? Have You Planned for the Estate and Gift Taxes?

The Issue

I recently encountered an interesting situation in which someone suggested that a grantor trust be decanted into a non-grantor trust before the end of the taxable year. The reason? To avoid the special interest charge that would otherwise be imposed with respect to the deferred tax liability attributable to the trust’s share of an installment obligation.[i]

The trust’s principal asset was a membership interest in an LLC that was treated as a partnership for purposes of the federal income tax. Among the assets held by the partnership was an installment obligation that had been received by the partnership earlier in the taxable year in exchange for the partnership’s sale of unimproved real property.

In order to appreciate the issue presented, it may be helpful to first take a short walk through the installment sale rules.
Continue Reading Planning for the Interest Charge on Installment Sales: Decanting a Grantor Trust?

A Night to Remember?

Did you listen to the President’s speech last Wednesday? He addressed a joint session of Congress to pitch the Administration’s $1.8 trillion American Families Plan. Due to COVID-related restrictions, there were only about one hundred elected officials present in the House Chamber;[i] other invited guests brought the total in attendance to approximately two hundred.[ii]

The sparsely occupied room was to be contrasted with the targeted audience: the almost 27 million U.S. viewers who tuned into Mr. Biden’s speech, and whom he hoped to enlist in his effort to sway a closely divided Congress.[iii]Continue Reading The President’s Recent Tax Proposals: What Do They Mean for Business Owners?

Are the rich making enough of a contribution to society? Are they bearing their fair share of taxes? Many New York legislators don’t think so.

Following the elections of November 2020, the State’s Democratic party secured a veto-proof supermajority not only in the Assembly, but also in the Senate.[i] This development was significant because, until then, the State’s chief executive, Governor Cuomo – ironically, also a Democrat – had been the major obstacle standing in the way of tax increases on the State’s businesses and on its wealthier residents.Continue Reading New York is Poised for Some Significant Tax Increases