Champions Retreat Denied Deduction for Golf Course Conservation Easement

The Tax Court recently struck down another conservation easement under Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) IRC § 170(h). This case follows several other high-profile conservation easements that have been struck down recently. IRC § 170(h) and the related Treasury Regulations contain a myriad of technical requirements in order for an easement to qualify for the deduction,…
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The Intersection of the TCJA and the Mississippi Income Tax

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) is arguably the most significant tax legislation passed by Congress since last revision of the Internal Revenue Code in 1986. The legislation fundamentally altered the Code by reducing or eliminating many longstanding, popular deductions and credits while expanding others and creating new ones. Much has been written about…
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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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No, a Lessee Cannot Grant a Conservation Easement

In the recent Harbor Lofts case, the Tax Court clarified that a long-term lessee of real property is not entitled to take a deduction with respect to a grant of a conservation easement on that same property.With this case, we are reminded again that easements can be completely denied, even when a substantial interest in…
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Estate Planning for Nontaxable Estates

In the wake of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, P.L. 115-97 (Dec. 22, 2018), estate planning has seen a return to its genesis. At its core, estate planning is about making sure assets pass to the right people, at the right time, and in the right manner. For most estates, the estate tax tail…
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199A Proposed Regulations: Clarifying Scope Of Specified Services Trade or Business Under Section 199A

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recently issued proposed regulations on the new deduction for qualified business income (“QBI”) under new Code section 199A. Among other things, the proposed regulations address the hotly debated interpretive issue regarding the term “specified service trade or business” (“SSTB”). SSTB is a key term under section 199A because, if an…
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An Avalanche on Rose Hill: 5th Circuit Upholds Denial of Conservation Easement Deduction

On August 14, 2018 the 5th Circuit upheld the Tax Court’s September 9, 2016 bench opinion in PBBM-Rose Hill, LTD v. Comm’r. The case involved a $15,160,000 conservation easement deduction under IRC § 170(h) that was denied based on a technicality relating to strict compliance with the extinguishment regulations under Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(g)(6)(i) and a rejection of…
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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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Estate Inclusion: The New Estate Plan, Step-Up

Background The traditional estate planning game has been to: (1) ensure client wishes were achieved by drafting wills and trusts such that the assets within the client’s estate served the intended purposes and landed in the hands of the desired beneficiaries, and (2) minimize or eliminate estate (and generation skipping) taxes. Since 2000, a few…
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Interest Rates on the Rise: To Act or Wait?

The Internal Revenue Service recently released the Applicable Federal Rates (“AFR”) and the Section 7520 rate (“7520”) for August 2018. While the AFR remains low from a historical standpoint, as do interest rates in general, there has been a recent trend of rising interest rates. The short term AFR has increased from .56% for August 2016…
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