Archives: Estate Tax

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IRS Regulations Clarify Definition of Spouse for Federal Tax Purposes in Light of Obergefell v. Hodges

The IRS has issued final regulations clarifying the definitions of “spouse,” “husband,” “wife,” and “husband and wife” for federal tax purposes. The final regulations now define “spouse,” “husband” and “wife” as any individual lawfully married to another individual, and “husband and wife” as any two individuals lawfully married to each other, regardless of the individuals’ … Continue Reading

Beyer Beware: An Examination of a Family Limited Partnership Gone Wrong

The opinion issued on Sept. 29, 2016, in the case of Estate of Edward G. Beyer v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue was the culmination of an estate planning exercise that had an unfortunate ending for everyone involved (other than the IRS). The case involved a number of failed estate planning techniques. Background The situation began … Continue Reading

What do Prince, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston Have in Common?

Michael Jackson, Prince and Whitney Houston each revolutionized the music industry and impacted popular music for decades. We all appreciate how Michael Jackson moonwalked across the stage, Prince made it (purple) rain and Whitney Houston will always love you. These impactful artists changed, and continue to change, the music landscape. What do Michael Jackson, Whitney … Continue Reading

New Basis Reporting Requirements (and Penalties) for Decedents’ Estates

FEBRUARY 2, 2016 UPDATE: The final version of Form 8971 and the Instructions have been posted by the IRS. On July 31, President Obama signed into law the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act (the “Act”) to reauthorize the Highway Trust Fund’s spending authority for another three months. To offset the legislation’s … Continue Reading

IRS Plans to Further Restrict Family Business Valuation Discounts

IRS regulations anticipated for release as early as this September may further restrict valuation discounts. The exact scope of the regulations is unknown, but the regulations will likely make it more difficult for taxpayers to discount the value of family business interests. Valuation Discounts Generally Valuation discounts in family business interests are often utilized in … Continue Reading

Keep Your Collection Away from the Collectors: Tax Planning for Fine Art

Appreciation of fine art can create challenging tax issues, but with proper planning collectors can minimize the estate, gift, and income tax consequences of their collections. For taxpayers hoping to keep their works in the family, a recent 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling provides some promising precedent for valuation issues. In Estate of Elkins … Continue Reading

Transfers to Non-Citizen Spouses: Planning Considerations

Estate planning professionals commonly encounter married couples with mixed nationalities.  That is, one spouse is an American citizen and the other is not.  The U.S. estate and gift tax rules are generally the same for U.S. citizens and resident aliens.  However, the estate tax marital deduction differs significantly as applied to non-U.S.-citizen surviving spouses. The … Continue Reading

ACTEC Wealth Advisor App Offers Powerful Planning Tool for Wealth Management Professionals

The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national association of leading trust and estate attorneys.  ACTEC contributes to the field of trusts and estates law through scholarship, teaching, and bar leadership activities.  BakerHostetler’s private wealth planning attorneys have a long and active history with ACTEC.  Recently, BakerHostetler’s participation helped with the … Continue Reading

IRS “Wealth Squad” – Something to Keep in Mind During Tax Season

The IRS Global High Wealth Industry (“GHWI”) (part of the IRS Large Business & International Division) is auditing individuals with tens of millions of assets or income who utilize complicated financial and estate plan structures.  GHWI was established by the IRS in late 2009, but now has a few years of service “under its belt”.  … Continue Reading

‘Tis the Season – For Year-End Charitable Giving

Most people make the bulk of their charitable contributions during the year-end holiday season.  This post summarizes some of the charitable giving ideas and opportunities, as well as some planning reminders, that donors may want to consider: Gifts of Appreciated Securities Many people have benefited this year from the surge in the investment markets.   Appreciated marketable … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional in Estate Tax Case

The Supreme Court has held that the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional.  DOMA defined “marriage” and “spouse” to the exclusion of same-sex partners for purposes of federal law.  As a result, same-sex partners (even those legally married or otherwise legitimized under state law) were not considered married or to be spouses for purposes … Continue Reading

Careful Planning Required to Avoid New York’s Estate Tax

Now that Congress has implemented a relatively large per person federal gift/estate tax exemption (i.e., the per person federal gift/estate tax exemption is $5,250,000 in 2013, indexed for inflation), many think that estate tax consequences are no longer relevant in estate planning.  However, New York residents and non-residents of New York who own assets located … Continue Reading