Federal

Where Are We?

Have you seen the Triumvirate of late? No, not Julius, Pompey, and Crassus.[i] I’m referring to more contemporary political figures, whose names and exploits are not likely to appear in volumes[ii] that will be studied throughout the world for centuries.

The lower cased “t” triumvirate of which I speak consists of President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and Speaker of the House Pelosi.[iii] The group’s standings in polls are anemic.[iv] Not a good place for life-long politicians.


Continue Reading Grantor Trusts on the Precipice?

Summertime in Washington

On August 11, the Senate passed the $3.5 trillion budget resolution for the 2021-2022 fiscal year – S. Con. Res. 14, as amended – by a vote of 50 to 49, strictly along party lines, including Democratic Senators Manchin and Sinema who have repeatedly questioned the wisdom of such an expensive measure. The Senate’s overview[i] of the budget resolution began as follows:

On July 13th, 2021, the Senate Budget Committee, with the support of Leader Schumer and President Biden, announced a framework agreement of $3.5 trillion in FY2022 Budget Reconciliation instructions to enact the Build Back Better agenda. The agreement calls for the $3.5 trillion in long-term investments to be fully offset by a combination of new tax revenues, health care savings, and long-term economic growth. In addition, the agreement would prohibit new taxes on families making less than $400,000 per year, and on small businesses and family farms.

Then, on August 24, the House also passed the budget resolution – H. Res. 601 – by a vote of 220 to 212, also strictly along party lines, including every Democrat who threatened to vote against the resolution unless it included a provision that repealed the cap on the SALT deduction, and including those moderates who threatened to oppose the resolution unless the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was enacted first, all of whom submitted to the Speaker.[ii]
Continue Reading Tax Increases Are In Sight

Report Card:
A couple of weeks ago, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) released a report that presented the results of its review to determine whether the IRS’s “policies, procedures and, practices” adequately ensured that its examiners were considering the compensation paid by closely held S corporations to those shareholders who rendered service to the corporations.[i]

Let’s just say the IRS did not receive a stellar grade.[ii]
Continue Reading Are the Feds Getting Ready to Kick Your “S”?

The Calm Before?

I’m confused.[i] For better or worse, I’m pretty sure that I am not alone.

Last week, in a letter addressed to the American people, forty-six of the fifty Republicans in the U.S. Senate indicated they would not vote in favor of increasing the federal debt ceiling to accommodate the additional spending that is called for under the $3.5 trillion Budget Resolution recently passed by Senate Democrats.[ii] If the Democrats require such an increase in the deficit to fund their programs – as described in the Administration’s American Jobs and American Families Plans[iii] – the letter explained, they will have to do so without Republican support, using the reconciliation process, in much the same way the Democrats will be increasing taxes[iv] to help cover the cost of those programs.


Continue Reading Tax Distributions as Fraudulent Conveyances?

Compare and Contrast

Have you spoken to anybody about the infrastructure bill on which the Senate is about to vote? I know I haven’t, except to explain that Speaker Pelosi has stated the House will not consider the bill unless and until the Senate also adopts a budget resolution for the President’s tax and spending plans.


Continue Reading Increased Capital Gain Rate, Nonresident Aliens, and ESBTs

The Dog Days[i]

I’ve never much cared for the month of August. In New York, at least for me, the eighth month of the year – named by the Roman Emperor, Augustus, to honor himself[ii] – evokes memories of very warm, very humid days, and anxious thoughts about the upcoming school year.[iii]

Although I no longer stress over returning to class, August has continued to be my least favorite month and, by the look of things, this year will be no different.

We begin the month with the Senate having finally agreed to take up debate of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package backed by the White House.[iv]


Continue Reading Step Transaction or Substance Over Form? Loss Disallowance in Any Case

Movement Toward Tax Increases

You may have read last week that Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee announced they had reached a deal on a budget resolution that will enable them to bypass Senate Republicans on the way to enacting most of the “social infrastructure” programs called for under the President’s American Families Plan.[i] Significantly, after the announcement, Senator Manchin, who is not a member of the Committee, indicated he would not stand in the way of the budget resolution, thereby practically assuring its passage and the start of the reconciliation budget process.


Continue Reading Employee-Shareholders, Reasonable Compensation And Employment Taxes

Not Good

As Mr. Biden settled into the White House, and as the Democrats began planning how to best utilize their slim Congressional majority to enact and pay for their sweeping legislative agenda, the principal concern among most owners of successful closely held businesses was Mr. Biden’s proposal to almost double the federal income tax rate applicable to the long-term capital gains recognized by an individual taxpayer.[i]


Continue Reading Tax Increases in Sight? Time to Sell the Business? Focus on Economics

I Read the News Today

Much of today’s news is dominated by the future of the Administration’s broadly defined infrastructure plan. Discussions among “those in the know” inevitably turn into debates over the wisdom of pursuing the bipartisan legislative approach favored by centrists from both sides of the political divide as contrasted with the “go-it-alone through reconciliation” budget process being pushed by the more progressive wing of the President’s party.


Continue Reading Tax Changes in the Offing? “Close Scrutiny” of Business Owners’ Economic Benefits Remains a Constant

What A Ride

No one anticipated that the Administration’s proposed tax increases would fly through Congress easily – at least no one residing in a state in which the recreational use of marijuana has not been legalized. Query, however, whether anyone foresaw the rollercoaster-like developments of the last several days.


Continue Reading Partners, S Corp. Shareholders and Biden’s 2022 Revenue Proposal: No More Business as Usual