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Koons v. Commissioner

Key Issues For all of Mr. Koons’ careful estate planning, involving a significant sale and redemption transaction of business operations to provide liquidity and flexibility in his later years, the planning was disrupted by an untimely death—Mr. Koons’. The disruption here highlights the importance of starting early with business valuation input to help avoid a complex confluence of strategic transactions w ...

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Divorce

The Trouble for the Innocent Spouse with the IRS and State Tax Authorities Spouses that unwittingly sign a state or federal tax return may be held joint and severably liable for underpaid taxes. The expanded innocent spouse relief provides potential relief, but that relief takes time and requires extensive documentation. ...

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IRS Proposes New Changes to Cafeteria Plan Elections and Lookback Period

  On September 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued two new notices—one proposing changes for when a taxpayer can revoke healthcare coverage in a cafeteria plan and enroll in a plan on the health insurance marketplace exchanges; the second notice proposes an approach for how to measure the lookback period for determining who is a fulltime employee when an employee changes positions withi ...

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CPAs File Class Action Against IRS

  Two CPAs in Washington D.C. have filed a class action lawsuit against the IRS for requiring a yearly registration and related fee in order to maintain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). The suit, which involves 700,000 practitioners, seeks to recover $150 million in fees that the IRS has collected since the regulation passed in 2010. Four years ago, the IRS put the new rule into effect as a ...

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IRS Rewriting Tax Law?

  Among many legal challenges to the validity of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is Halbig vs. Burwell. The challenge concerns a passage in the statute, when literally read as worded, makes federal tax credits for insurance programs available only to those enrollees in states that have created a state-designed and operated healthcare exchange. Read as it currently exists, the statute does not allow for ...

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AICPA Protests IRS Regulation for Tax Preparers

  The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) recently sent a letter to the IRS calling a proposed “voluntary” certification program for unenrolled tax return preparers “unlawful and improper”. In a recent ruling, Loving, No. 13-5061 (D.C. Cir. 2/11/14), it was held that the IRS does not have the statutory authority to regulate tax return preparers. In the aftermath, IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, stated ...

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77,000 Banks Turn Over Data under FATCA

  In a windfall for the IRS, 77,000 foreign banks have turned over data on American account holders as part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The U.S. devised tax law with global reach requires all foreign banks to submit full data on all American accounts with a balance of $50,000 or more. Financial institutions that are non-compliant risk being frozen out of U.S. markets and a 30 per ...

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IRS Names Bitcoin Property, Not Currency

Where the IRS stands on the classification of Bitcoin and the purchases made with it has been ambiguous. There are a lot of questions surrounding the virtual currency, not the least of which is how it factors in tax matters. While Bitcoin operates like real currency in some situations, the fact still stands that it has no legal recognition as currency in any jurisdiction. In spite of this contradiction, the ...

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U.S. Department of Justice Pursues 20K Tax Cheats Shielded by Credit Suisse

You could call it UBS, Part II.  Back in 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) uncovered 4,700 names of American citizens avoiding taxes with the help of Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS.  Most notably, Beanie Babies creator and billionaire, Ty Warner, was caught in the sting that cost UBS $780 million in fines and netted the IRS $6 billion in taxes and fines from a voluntary disclosure program for petr ...

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Top Five Things Missed in Valuing Equity in Most Asset Holding Entities

The days of applying Mandelbaum and referencing a few IPO and restricted stock studies are over. This article addresses what is often omitted from most asset holding entity valuation reports. By failing to include issues like the ones outlined, the resulting adjustments are less empirical and more a "guesstimate". Valuation practitioners and their advisory clients have a duty to the users of our reports to ...

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Valuation of Promissory Notes

It’s not as simple as it seems This article explores the fact that the valuation of a simple debt instrument, such as a promissory note, can be anything but simple. It is observed that the sum of unpaid debt, as well as accrued interest, may well overstate the value of the promissory note. Also covered is whether assets tied to notes need to be valued separately. ...

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IRS Loses Bid to Mandate Continuing Ed for Tax Preparers

While CPAs and tax attorneys must currently meet professional standards for tax preparation and other services, a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled that the IRS has no authority to force continuing education or similar standards on tax preparers.  The case stems from a 2011 IRS proposal of a system that would have established tax preparer registration and re ...

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How to Determine a DLOM for the IRS

Historical perspective and current recommendations The Internal Revenue Service published Discount for Lack of Marketability: Job Aid for IRS Professionals (Job Aid) in August of 2013.  Now, two new books provide  advice on how to prepare a DLOM and which methods valuators  should consider and why.  These will help any business valuation practice, whether working on a DLOM for the IRS or any other purpose. ...

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Multi-National Companies Face Tax Risk with Transfer Pricing

Because of increased IRS audit procedures, multi-national corporations face great risk when it comes to transfer pricing from both a compliance and tax planning perspective.  The familiar multi-nationals like Amazon or Microsoft have made headlines regarding transfer pricing disputes and adjustments that run into the billions.  In an excellent article by the Journal of Accountancy, small, closely-held compa ...

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IRS Loses in E&G Tax Case

The Tax Court recently denied an IRS motion for summary judgment in an estate and gift tax case where an elderly mother made gifts to her daughters, while requiring them to pay all tax liabilities due if she happened to die within three years of making the gifts.  In the calculation for gift tax purposes, the mother reduced the value of the gifts by the estimated tax liability.  This reduction was denied by ...

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Estate & Gift Tax Update

In the first installment of a two-part series, the AICPA reviews the most important developments affecting estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax and trust income tax over the last 12 months.  In the period from June 2012 through May 2013, the analysis covers legislative developments, rulings, pending cases, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and inflation adjustments for 2013.  The s ...

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Making Sense of the Blockage Discount: It’s Much More Than Simple.

Giving holders of concentrated risk in public company stock a tax break This article establishes there is recognition by the IRS and the courts that a well-supported proof of impairment based on the sale of a large number of shares necessitates an investor concession. It provides the rationale and methodology to capture the existence and the level of impairment. ...

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Minnesota Twins Ownership Tangled in IRS Estate Tax Debate

In early 2009, Carl Pohlad, investor and principle owner of the Minnesota Twins, passed away, leaving controlling ownership of the team to his sons.  In settling the estate, the new owners now find themselves embroiled in a tax tangle with the IRS.  The primary point of contention exists with what Pohlad’s share in the team was actually worth at the time of death.  According to the IRS, Pohlad’s ownership i ...

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IRS Resists Negotiation on Penalties—Appraiser News Online, Bloomberg BNA

If IRS Imposes a Penalty, That Penalty Cannot be Negotiated as Part of a Settlement on Another Tax Matter  The Internal Revenue Service is opposed to negotiating penalties with noncompliant taxpayers, a stance that should benefit appraisers and tax advisors because individuals will be required to assume more responsibility for their deductions, Bloomberg BNA (subscription required) reported this month.   Ap ...

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Kite v. Commissioner is a Major Loss for IRS —Financial Planning

Case Involved $6M in Gift Tax and $5M in Estate Tax; Interest in General Partnership Sold for Private Annuity; Much Planning at the End of 2012 Bruce Givner at Financial Planning reports that U.S. Tax Court Judge Elizabeth Paris handed the taxpayers a victory last Thursday [2/14/2013]  involving a powerful estate tax planning tool: private annuities.   The case, Estate of Kite v. Commissioner, is important, ...

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