Shady Tax Shelter Promoters: The Ballad of Mr. Combs

It is helpful to remind taxpayers now and then that there do exist plenty of bad-apple advisors out there. Quite often, we at ESD find ourselves helping our clients wind-down, mitigate, and stop erroneous positions and planning put into by place by such bad-apple advisors. Our firm has even assisted in defending audits and tax…
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What is Going On? Mid-Term AFR is Less Than Short-Term! Here is Why.

For a few months, the short and mid-term applicable federal rates have been on the heels of one another. These rates ride with treasury rates and the economy in general. For some reason, here lately the mid-term rates have been lower on occasion than the short-term rates. I even caught myself thinking, is this a…
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A Reminder in the Basics: Timely Mailing is Timely Filing

Timely mailing is timely filing. Seriously, it is. In the case of Curtiss T. Williams, we are reminded of how important it is to ensure compliance and maintain proof of compliance with the mailbox rule of the Internal Revenue Code. While really just a mundane case of a taxpayer getting his petition dismissed due to late filing,…
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Sixth Circuit Clarifies Substance Over Form Doctrine in “MidCo” Case

After the Summa Holdings case, the substance over form doctrine was left with a significant black eye by the Sixth Circuit. On May 15, 2019, the Sixth Circuit, upheld a transferee liability claim against shareholders of a Tennessee corporation while also clarifying its holding is Summa Holdings. While the Summa Holdings discussion is certainly interesting, the…
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Finish that Rollover before Declaring Bankruptcy

In the recent case of In Re Jones, 123 AFTR 2d 2019-_________ (Bktcy. Ct. IL), an individual taxpayer and petitioner for bankruptcy relief under chapter 7 was able to withdraw $50,000 from his individual retirement account (“IRA”), deposit the funds into his personal account, spend $30,000 of the funds on personal items (primarily lottery tickets),…
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Conservation in Bi-Partisan Crosshairs of Congress for 2019

On March 27, 2019, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced an investigation into potentially abusive syndicated conservation transactions. Senator Grassley commented on the investigation saying: ““There are very legitimate purposes for the conservation easement provisions of the tax code. But when a handful of individuals cook up a scheme to cash in at the…
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Law Firm Technology – An Open Discussion

At our firm, we use a host of technological tools. As the attorney responsible for research, acquiring, and implementing our tools, I am required to invest a tremendous amount of time in our tools. This article changes pace a bit and may be geared to a different audience, our peers, in hopes to engage in…
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IRS Addresses Estate and Gift Tax Exemption “Claw-back”

Overview As of November 23, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) published proposed regulations providing some valuable guidance with respect to the upcoming sunset of the increased estate and gift tax exemption in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”). With the TCJA, the estate tax exemption amount was increased from $5.49 Million to $11.18…
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