Estate Tax

Important Lessons Regarding Valuation Issues

Taxpayers with high income and high net worth should be diligent regarding the valuation process and ensure they have used thorough and well-documented appraisal methodologies.

Estate Tax Treatment of Grantor Retained Interests Clarified

The IRS issued final regulations providing guidance on the portion of property (held in trust or otherwise) includible in the grantor’s gross estate if the grantor has retained the use of the property or the right to an annuity, unitrust, graduated retained interest, or other payment from the property for life, for any period not ascertainable without reference to the grantor’s death, or for a period that does not in fact end before the grantor’s death.

Estate Tax Protective Claim and Portability Election Procedures Detailed

The IRS issued guidance on filing a protective claim for refund of estate tax and notifying the IRS that the claim is ready for consideration, and to alert executors to the need to file Form 706 to make an election allowing the decedent’s spouse to receive the decedent’s unused estate and gift tax exemption.

Estates Must File Form 706 to Make Portability Election

The IRS alerted executors of the estates of decedents dying after December 31, 2010, of the need to file a Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, within the time prescribed by law (including extensions).

Portability of Unused Estate and Gift Tax Exclusion Between Spouses

One of the essential elements in the equation for the computation of both the federal gift and estate tax is the reduction of the tax due by the amount of the estate or gift tax on the applicable exclusion amount. Because of changes to the tax law, a surviving spouse may be able to increase his or her applicable exclusion amount by the amount of the unused exclusion amount of the deceased spouse. The term “applicable exclusion amount” has been redefined to include the sum of the basic exclusion amount and the deceased spousal unused exclusion amount.

Death and Taxes: Executors Beware

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act revised tax law for estates of decedents dying in 2010, 2011, or 2012. The new rules apply for 2010 unless an executor elects to use prior law.

Decedent Did Not Have an Ownership Interest in Companies

The Tax Court held that based on the facts and circumstances a decedent, who had been actively and significantly involved in managing a group of companies, did not have an ownership interest in the companies at his death for estate tax purposes.

Newsletter Articles

TAX REFORM

Traps for the unwary: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes

By now many of us are familiar with the various provisions of the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), P.L. 115-97. Here is a list of changes together with (perhaps) unexpected nuances.

DEDUCTIONS

Qualified business income deduction regs. and other guidance issued

The package includes final regulations, guidance on how to calculate W-2 wages, a safe-harbor rule for rental real estate businesses, and new proposed rules on the treatment of previously suspended losses.