Nov 23, 2015

2016 Estate Planning Update

As soon as the last of the turkey is made into turkey soup, ‘tis the season to focus on year-end tax planning, particularly taking advantage of the gift tax annual exclusion. An individual can make gifts free of gift tax and without using any of his or her lifetime gift tax exemption of up to $14,000 per person per year.  A married couple can make gifts of up to $28,000 per person per year regardless of which spouse actually makes the gift.  (The annual exclusion amount is adjusted annually for inflation but will remain at $14,000 for 2016.)  However, if… Read more


Sep 14, 2015

Lost and Found: Musings on the Tax Consequences of a Found Violin

Recently it was reported that Roman Totenberg’s Stradivarius was found 35 years after its suspected theft.  The Stradivarius disappeared in 1980, believed by most to have been stolen.  The violin surfaced this past June when an appraiser identified the Stradivarius as the missing violin. Eventually, Roman Totenberg’s daughters recovered the violin as his heirs.  Mr. Totenberg died in 2012. Generally, it is not a taxable event when a property owner recovers stolen property. However, taxable income will be realized if the taxpayer took an income tax deduction for the theft loss.  In such case, the value of the recovered property… Read more


Aug 31, 2015

Anticipated 2704 Valuation Discount Regulations

Authored by: Dana L. Mark In 1990 Chapter 14 (Special Valuation Rules) was added to the Internal Revenue Code to prevent the manipulation of the transfer tax value of a proprietary interest in certain entities in the context of transfers between related parties. In other words, what discounts ought to be taken into account in valuing the transferred interest if control of the entity remains within the family. Included among the new rules was Section 2704 dealing with the treatment of certain lapsing rights and restrictions. Essentially, in the context of a family held entity, if the interest in the… Read more