Playing with a Loaded Deck: CARDS and the Economic Substance Doctrine

BACKGROUND THE PARTIES On July 2nd, 2018, the Tax Court released its ruling in Roy E. Hahn, et al. v. Comm’r, TC Memo 2018-100. The case revolved around whether the taxpayers were entitled to deduct certain losses from a Custom Adjustable Rate Debt Structure (CARDS) transaction. The primary reason for this article is not to…
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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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The Marital Partnership, the Joint Return, and the Non-Disregarded Entity

When husband and wife own a partnership together, a common misconception is that because a joint return is filed for the husband and wife, the partnership can be treated as a disregarded entity and not have to file its own return. Unfortunately for some, it is sometimes realized after the reliance on this erroneous fact,…
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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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Unlocking the HELOC Interest Deductions: Clarifications from the IRS

The IRS published an Information Release on February 21, 2018 clarifying that certain home loan mortgage interest deductions many thought were lost under the new tax act may still be deductible. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”), which was enacted on December 22, 2017, suspends from 2018 until 2026, any deduction for…
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New website!

It has been a project, but we are happy to announce our website is finally up and going. We intend to add more content regularly.