Tax Law

Recent Posts

Taxation of Employer-Provided Cell Phones: Who Benefits?
Posted on 1 Nov 2011 by Deanne Morton

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... Read More

IRC § 409A and Changes in Control: Must Option Cash-Outs Be “All-or-Nothing”?
Posted on 16 Nov 2012 by Deanne Morton

IRC Section 409A was enacted post-Enron to stem the abuse of corporate executives who accelerated payments under their deferred compensation plans before the company went bankrupt. IRC Section 409A sets strict guidelines for private companies issuing... Read More

Final Regs Guide Large Employer Health Care Plan Compliance
Posted on 22 May 2012 by Patricia Tyler

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... Read More

STARS Transaction Lacks Economic Substance
Posted on 19 Feb 2013 by Patricia Tyler

Although the economic substance doctrine has been recognized by the courts for a long time and was codified as IRC Section 7701(o) in 2010, it has not stopped taxpayers from trying to avoid or reduce tax liability through creative structuring of various... Read More

Deadline to Amend Plans for Funding-Based Benefit Limitations Extended
Posted on 17 Dec 2012 by Patricia Tyler

The IRS has extended the deadline originally provided in Notice 2011-96 to amend a defined benefit plan to satisfy the requirements of IRC Section 436 and has provided relief from the requirements of IRC Section 411(d)(6) . In general, Notice 2012-70... Read More

GOP Hopefuls Call for Shift to Territorial Tax System
Posted on 12 Sep 2011 by Neil Aragones

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... Read More

SCOTUS Oral Argument: Does Overstated Basis = Omission from Gross Income?
Posted on 22 Dec 2011 by Peter Miller

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... Read More

IRS Issues Proposed Rules Clarifying Alternate Valuation Rules
Posted on 19 Nov 2011 by Patricia Tyler

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... Read More

Family Limited Partnership Still Useful in Estate Planning
Posted on 22 Oct 2012 by Patricia Tyler

Over the years family limited partnerships (FLPs) have experienced their fair share of scrutiny by the IRS and the courts. However, as evidenced by the Fifth Circuit's opinion in Keller v. United States , 2012 US App LEXIS 20119 , FLPs can be a very... 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

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

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

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