Tax Law

Recent Posts

In the Wake of Dim Sum Scandal, POTUS to Sign Payroll Tax Cut Extension
Posted on 17 Feb 2012 by Deanne Morton

On February 16, 2012, President Obama (or, as is becoming the trend in internet slang, the "POTUS") was photographed in San Francisco picking up a lunch of dim sum from a famous Chinese eatery . In town for a fundraising event, the President... Read More

Rich to Pay More in 2013 – What About 2014, 2015…?
Posted on 4 Mar 2013 by Peter Miller

A king ought to shear, not skin, his sheep - Robert Herrick ... In the context of federal tax policy and, in particular, how much the "wealthy" should be paying, what exactly does "fair" mean? With so much debate about tax policy... Read More

IRS Gone Rogue? Investigating Policy on RICs’ Commodity-Related Investments
Posted on 12 Apr 2012 by Deanne Morton

Higher prices at the pump got you down? Recent news stories suggest that commodity speculation may be a significant factor. (See, e.g., "Pump Prices Climb to Record High Level," Los Angeles Times (February 7, 2012)). The Commodity Futures Trading... Read More

Filing an IRC Section 254 Protective Claim for Refund
Posted on 17 Oct 2011 by Patricia Tyler

Generally, a deduction cannot be taken for a claim against the estate while it remains a potential or unmatured claim. Claims that later mature can be deducted on a timely claim for a refund. A protective claim for a refund may be filed pursuant to Treasury... Read More

TE/GE Fast-track Settlement Program Becomes Permanent
Posted on 18 Sep 2012 by Patricia Tyler

In December 2008, the IRS announced a pilot program for entities with issues under examination by the Tax Exempt and Governmental Entities Division (TE/GE), providing such entities an opportunity to use Fast Track Settlement (FTS) to expedite case resolution... Read More

Proposed Regs Clarify Charitable Hospital Organization Requirements
Posted on 17 Jul 2012 by Patricia Tyler

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act added IRC Section 501(r) , which imposes detailed conditions on a hospital organization seeking exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3) . In addition to satisfying the requirements of IRC Section 501(c)(3)... Read More

Favorable, Unfavorable Exemption Rulings Available for Public Review
Posted on 19 Mar 2012 by Patricia Tyler

With the issuance of final Treasury Regulations, the IRS will now make available for public review favorable and unfavorable exemption rulings. The IRS for a while now has been making available for public inspection favorable exemption letters issued... Read More

Guidance Needed on 1-Year Holdout Rule Elective Deferrals
Posted on 28 Dec 2012 by Deanne Morton

When an employee is rehired by a company, the granting or vesting of benefits under certain retirement plans may be delayed until the employee has been re-employed for a period of at least one year. The applicability of this "Holdout Rule" is... Read More

Obama vs. Romney: What It Means for the Estate Tax - Will It be Eliminated or Renewed?
Posted on 20 Aug 2012 by Patricia Tyler

The December 31, 2012 sunset date for the estate tax, as provided by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, is once again quickly approaching, and in typical fashion there is a divide over what the fate of... Read More

Final Regs on Income Ordering Rules for Payments to Charitable Beneficiaries
Posted on 24 Apr 2012 by Patricia Tyler

For a trust to qualify for the charitable deduction, a charitable contribution must be made from gross income. [ See IRC § 642(c) .] IRC Section 642 requires tracing since the source of the charitable contribution must be gross income rather than... Read More

Estate Portability Election Extended
Posted on 21 Feb 2012 by Patricia Tyler

As all estate practitioners are now aware, IRC Section 2010(c) permits the estate of a decedent who is survived by a spouse to make a portability election, permitting the surviving spouse to apply the decedent's unused exclusion to the surviving spouse's... Read More

Transportation Bill Defeat: Congressional Business as Usual
Posted on 4 Nov 2011 by Peter Miller

Following a familiar pattern, and to the surprise of no one, the Long-Term Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011 (S. 1786) was defeated this week by six votes. Only Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) broke from party ranks in this instance... Read More

IRS Adds Flexibility to Trusts
Posted on 9 Dec 2011 by Patricia Tyler

As estate planning practitioners are well aware, IRC Section 2042 includes in the gross estate: insurance proceeds on the life of the decedent receivable by the executor; and insurance proceeds on the life of fhe decedent received by others, where... Read More

SCOTUS Showdown: Oral Arguments Heard in Home Concrete Case
Posted on 17 Jan 2012 by Peter Miller

On January 17, 2012 before the U.S. Supreme Court, Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart and Gregory Garre , partner at Latham & Watkins, LLP presented oral argument in United States v. Home Concrete & Supply, LLC, et al. In broad terms, at... Read More

Proposed Regs Detail Broker Reporting for Debt Instruments, Options
Posted on 24 Jan 2012 by Patricia Tyler

The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (the "2008 Act") amended IRC Section 6045 and thereby expanded the broker reporting requirements. Beginning January 1, 2011, brokers, in addition to reporting the gross proceeds from sales of... Read More

  • Blog Post: Group Health Plan Reporting Requirements: Delays, Rumors, Cadillacs Under Attack

    Included as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010) was new IRC Section 6051(a)(14) . A very small change to a preexisting code section and subsection, the one line addition imposes new Form W-2 information reporting requirements...
  • Blog Post: GOP Hopefuls Call for Shift to Territorial Tax System

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has released his "Believe In America" economic plan, laying out his proposals to stimulate the U.S. economy and create jobs. Among Governor Romney's tax reform proposals is a U.S. transition from a worldwide tax system to a territorial tax system...
  • Blog Post: Filing an IRC Section 254 Protective Claim for Refund

    Generally, a deduction cannot be taken for a claim against the estate while it remains a potential or unmatured claim. Claims that later mature can be deducted on a timely claim for a refund. A protective claim for a refund may be filed pursuant to Treasury Regulation Section 20.2053-1(d)(5) to preserve...
  • Blog Post: Taxation of Employer-Provided Cell Phones: Who Benefits?

    When I was practicing law in the 1990s, the large private law firm I worked for decided to follow the lead of the technology-based Silicon Valley firms and issue what was likely the first generation of Blackberry smartphones to associates and partners. It seemed like such a perk initially: A firm-provided...
  • Blog Post: Transportation Bill Defeat: Congressional Business as Usual

    Following a familiar pattern, and to the surprise of no one, the Long-Term Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011 (S. 1786) was defeated this week by six votes. Only Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) broke from party ranks in this instance, yet another display of partisan posturing and...
  • Blog Post: IRS Issues Proposed Rules Clarifying Alternate Valuation Rules

    The executor can elect to value property in the decedent's estate at the alternate valuation date in an effort to reduce the estate's tax liability. IRC § 2032 . The alternate valuation election is provided solely to mitigate the hardship on an estate due to declining market values. A voluntary...
  • Blog Post: IRS Issues Final "Hot Stock" Regulations

    The IRS recently issued final regulations regarding the distribution of stock of a controlled corporation acquired in a transaction under IRC Section 355(a)(3)(B) . TD 9548, 76 FR 65110 . The final regulations adopt the substantive rules of the temporary regulations without change. TD 9435, 73 FR 75946...
  • Blog Post: IRC § 162(m)(6): A Game Changer in the Healthcare Insurance Arena

    Update on "Obamacare" and the Individual Health Insurance Mandates Judicial challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010, P.L. 111-148 have been plentiful pretty much since its enactment and I discussed this briefly in a commentary earlier this year. See "Group...
  • Blog Post: IRS Adds Flexibility to Trusts

    As estate planning practitioners are well aware, IRC Section 2042 includes in the gross estate: insurance proceeds on the life of the decedent receivable by the executor; and insurance proceeds on the life of fhe decedent received by others, where the decedent possessed any incident of ownership...
  • Blog Post: Robin Hoods Aim Their Bows at Financial Transactions

    Legend has it that Willie Sutton, bank robber extraordinaire, when asked by the FBI why he robbed banks, stated that it was "because that's where the money is." To a certain extent, this reasoning-to look to where the money is--might provide a decent starting point for the government in...
  • Blog Post: SCOTUS Oral Argument: Does Overstated Basis = Omission from Gross Income?

    Editor's Note: View blog discussion on this site of, and hyperlink to, the January 17th oral arguments before the Supreme Court : SCOTUS Showdown: Oral Arguments Heard in Home Concrete Case ... For some time now, the tax bar has been wringing its hands with frustration over when, and under what...
  • Blog Post: Few or None Mourn Ethanol Tax Credit's Demise

    Back in August, when the debt ceiling legislation was finally passed after considerable debate, one tax provision that had been considered as part of that legislation, and seemed to have bipartisan support, was left out. (In fact, no tax provisions were actually included in that legislation.) Thus, the...
  • Blog Post: SCOTUS Showdown: Oral Arguments Heard in Home Concrete Case

    On January 17, 2012 before the U.S. Supreme Court, Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart and Gregory Garre , partner at Latham & Watkins, LLP presented oral argument in United States v. Home Concrete & Supply, LLC, et al. In broad terms, at issue is whether the IRS has three years, or six...
  • Blog Post: Proposed Regs Detail Broker Reporting for Debt Instruments, Options

    The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (the "2008 Act") amended IRC Section 6045 and thereby expanded the broker reporting requirements. Beginning January 1, 2011, brokers, in addition to reporting the gross proceeds from sales of stock by their customers, are required to report the...
  • Blog Post: In the Wake of Dim Sum Scandal, POTUS to Sign Payroll Tax Cut Extension

    On February 16, 2012, President Obama (or, as is becoming the trend in internet slang, the "POTUS") was photographed in San Francisco picking up a lunch of dim sum from a famous Chinese eatery . In town for a fundraising event, the President looked the part of any well-dressed businessman picking...
  • Blog Post: Estate Portability Election Extended

    As all estate practitioners are now aware, IRC Section 2010(c) permits the estate of a decedent who is survived by a spouse to make a portability election, permitting the surviving spouse to apply the decedent's unused exclusion to the surviving spouse's own transfers during life and at death...
  • Blog Post: Favorable, Unfavorable Exemption Rulings Available for Public Review

    With the issuance of final Treasury Regulations, the IRS will now make available for public review favorable and unfavorable exemption rulings. The IRS for a while now has been making available for public inspection favorable exemption letters issued by the National Office. These rulings are made available...
  • Blog Post: IRS Gone Rogue? Investigating Policy on RICs’ Commodity-Related Investments

    Higher prices at the pump got you down? Recent news stories suggest that commodity speculation may be a significant factor. (See, e.g., "Pump Prices Climb to Record High Level," Los Angeles Times (February 7, 2012)). The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) oversees the financial market...
  • Blog Post: Final Regs on Income Ordering Rules for Payments to Charitable Beneficiaries

    For a trust to qualify for the charitable deduction, a charitable contribution must be made from gross income. [ See IRC § 642(c) .] IRC Section 642 requires tracing since the source of the charitable contribution must be gross income rather than principal. The provisions of the governing instrument...
  • Blog Post: Final Regs Guide Large Employer Health Care Plan Compliance

    As large employers are now well aware, beginning January 1, 2014, employers with more than 50 full-time employees must offer to all full-time employees and their dependents the opportunity to enroll in minimum essential coverage (MEC) under an eligible employer-sponsored plan. Large employers who fail...
  • Blog Post: IRS Considers Tribal Benefit Taxation and the General Welfare Exclusion

    A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of hearing Tribal Judge Abby Abinanti speak at an event for women lawyers. Judge Abinanti, a former Commissioner for the California Superior Court, is currently chief judge for the Yurok Tribal Court in Klamath, California. An advocate for restorative justice (as...
  • Blog Post: Proposed Regs Clarify Charitable Hospital Organization Requirements

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act added IRC Section 501(r) , which imposes detailed conditions on a hospital organization seeking exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3) . In addition to satisfying the requirements of IRC Section 501(c)(3) , hospital organizations must also meet the: community...
  • Blog Post: Obama vs. Romney: What It Means for the Estate Tax - Will It be Eliminated or Renewed?

    The December 31, 2012 sunset date for the estate tax, as provided by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, is once again quickly approaching, and in typical fashion there is a divide over what the fate of the estate tax should be. With the Obama and Romney...
  • Blog Post: Obamacare Survives Under Power of Taxation

    In the Supreme Court's decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 132 S. Ct. 2566 (June 28, 2012) , the Court determined the constitutionality of the most controversial provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 ( P.L. 111-148 , also known...
  • Blog Post: TE/GE Fast-track Settlement Program Becomes Permanent

    In December 2008, the IRS announced a pilot program for entities with issues under examination by the Tax Exempt and Governmental Entities Division (TE/GE), providing such entities an opportunity to use Fast Track Settlement (FTS) to expedite case resolution. Announcement 2008-105 . FTS allows entities...