Taxation of estates and trusts

Basis rules for estates of 2010 decedents proposed

The IRS issued proposed regulations to amend various regulation sections to take into account special rules that affect the basis of assets acquired from a decedent who died in 2010 and for which an executor made a Sec. 1022 election.

Tax Court foils transferee liability of Reynolds family trusts

State law is applied to determine whether a transferee is liable for a transferor’s tax liability. The Tax Court held that four trusts were not required to pay their former personal holding company’s tax liability. Virginia state law does not contain a corollary to the federal substance-over-form doctrine, and federal

Final rules on fiduciary fees keep “unbundling” requirement

Controversial rules prompted by the Knight decision parse certain income tax deductions of estates and trusts. The IRS issued final regulations on the controversial question of which costs incurred by trusts and estates are subject to the 2% floor on miscellaneous itemized deductions under Sec. 67(a). The regulations apply to

Final rules on fiduciary fees are issued

The IRS issued final regulations on the controversial question of which costs incurred by trust and estates are subject to the 2% floor on miscellaneous deductions under Sec. 67(a) (T.D. 9664). The regulations will apply to tax years beginning on or after May 9, 2014. The final regulations retain from

Avoiding the squeeze: Trusts, estates, and the new ATRA tax regime

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 raised the top income tax rate to 39.6%, and a new 3.8% tax on net investment income also applies beginning in 2013. Both taxes apply to trusts and estates with income in excess of $11,950 in 2013, in contrast to much higher thresholds for individuals. This new tax regime necessitates drafting wills and trusts to give executors and trustees maximum discretion so they can reduce these taxes.

Decanting trusts

Sometimes after clients create an irrevocable trust, circumstances change and the trust needs to be amended to reflect those changes. Sometimes these changes are related to family events, such as the marriage, divorce, or even death of the beneficiary; sometimes the client wants a new fiduciary or to have the

Duty of consistency thwarts inheritors’ basis step-up

The Tax Court held that the duty-of-consistency doctrine prevented two taxpayers from using fair market value (FMV) as the basis of inherited property where the estate had previously valued the property using the special valuation election of Sec. 2032A. The value of property included in a decedent’s estate is its

Tax Court allows discount of gift value for assumption of estate taxes

The Tax Court held that a gift’s fair market value (FMV) may be determined with reference to the recipient’s assumption of the potential Sec. 2035(b) estate tax liability, abandoning its precedent from McCord, 120 T.C. 358 (2003). Jean Steinberg, who was 89, entered into a binding agreement with her four

Immediate year-end planning opportunity for existing CRTs

On Dec. 2, the Treasury Department issued final regulations addressing the 3.8% net investment income tax under Sec. 1411 (T.D. 9644). Regs. Sec. 1.1411-3 addresses estates and trusts, including charitable remainder trusts (CRTs). The final regulations include an additional accounting method to tax CRT distributions. Distributions of income from a

Is a remittance a deposit or a payment?

A district court held that an estate’s remittance to the IRS was a tax payment rather than a deposit. It denied the estate’s refund request because it occurred after the three-year recovery period had expired. Generally, a taxpayer must request a refund of a tax overpayment within three years from

All legal same-sex marriages to be recognized for tax purposes, IRS says

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision invalidating a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Treasury Department and IRS announced on Thursday that “same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes.” The IRS also

IRS releases draft net investment income tax form

On Wednesday, the IRS released a draft of Form 8960, Net Investment Income Tax—Individuals, Estates, and Trusts, a new dual-purpose form that will be used by individuals and trusts and estates to compute the new 3.8% tax and then to report the tax on Forms 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act in estate tax case

The Supreme Court, in a 5–4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), P.L. 104-199, is unconstitutional because it violates the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause by denying equal protection to same-sex couples who are lawfully married in their states (Windsor, No. 12-307

Comments requested on proposed net investment income tax form

On Monday, the IRS published a notice and request for comments from taxpayers on a new dual-purpose form that will be used by individuals (using Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) and trusts and estates (using Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts) to compute the

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act in estate tax case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday, in a 5–4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), P.L. 104-199, is unconstitutional because it violates the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause by denying equal protection to same-sex couples who are lawfully married in their states (Windsor,

A look at the estate tax provisions in the president’s FY 2014 budget proposal

President Barack Obama’s recently released FY 2014 proposed budget contains a number of estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax proposals. The most far-reaching would permanently return the estate, gift, and GST tax regimes to the 2009 rules, starting in 2018. This would mean a 45% top tax rate and

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