Wendell Falls Again: Taxpayer Denied Second Bite at Easement

Original Tax Court Opinion I have previously written about the case of Wendell Falls Development, LLC v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo 2018-45. In that case, the Tax Court denied a charitable conservation easement deduction relating to a 125-acre parcel that was part of a total 1,280-acre development outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. I noted that the…
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Asset Protection: Is Your LLC Creditor-Protected?

Background In the recent case of Golfwood Square, LLC v. O’Malley, 2018 WL 4370875 (Ill.App., Unpublished, Sept. 11, 2018), the Appellate Court of Illinois held that a creditor could reach assets of a subsidiary LLC to satisfy debts of its parent company’s owner. This is an important case to review in evaluating how to operate…
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The Importance of Being a “Trade or Business”

Introduction In tax planning, it always has been important to determine whether an activity qualifies as a “trade or business.” There are a number of consequences. An important consequence is being able to deduct “ordinary and necessary” business expenses under Sec. 162. Others are the applicability of the 3.8% net investment income tax, hobby loss…
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Where Does Your Trust Reside? State Income Tax Implications

Where does your trust reside? Does it reside in more than one state? Does it reside nowhere? What are the implications of a trust’s residence? One important implication is how the trust will be taxed for state income tax purposes. With a varied approach to the income taxation of trusts among the states, it is…
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Case in Review: Cahill and Changes in the Family Estate Planning Landscape

The Tax Court has recently issued an opinion addressing several significant estate planning issues. In Estate of Cahill, T.C. Memo 2018-84, the Tax Court reviewed an inter-generational split-dollar arrangement under IRC §§2036, 2038, and 2703 (among other provisions). While this case may not break new ground in those areas, it shows the trend of the…
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Beneficial Giving Bites Taxpayer in Wendell Falls Development, LLC

Donors of conservation easements have just been put on notice by the Tax Court. Frequently, donors of conservation easements (or related parties) own nearby property. The Tax Court recently denied a deduction for a conservation easement where, without any expert opinion, it determined there was an expectation that contiguous property would increase in value. It…
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Alaska Supreme Court Takes a Wack at their Domestic Asset Protection Trust Statutes

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that Alaska does not have exclusive jurisdiction to hear claims of whether conveyances to an Alaska domestic asset protection trust (“DAPT”) were fraudulent transfers. In Toni 1 Trust v. Wacker, 2018 WL 1125033 (Alaska, Mar. 2, 2018), as judgments were being entered against them, Bertran and Barbara Tangwall transferred Montana…
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Equity, Equity, Debt! No wait, BAD DEBT!

Yet again, a taxpayer loses for not properly and contemporaneously documenting his intentions. Here is  another lesson on the importance of properly documenting loans (i.e. don’t just “book” as loans but have written loan documents contemporaneous with the advance). Mr. Burke made a number of advances to a business operated by his friend.  Although the…
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