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IRS Revises EIN Application Policy, Now Requires an Individual to be Listed as the “Responsible Party”

 

The IRS announced on March 27, 2019 that in an effort to enhance security and improve transparency, the “responsible party” on applications for an employer identification number (EIN) must now be a natural person.

An EIN is the tax identification number assigned to entities such as trusts, estates, retirement plans, LLCs, partnerships, and corporations.  An entity obtains such a number by completing the IRS Form SS-4 or an online application.  One question in the application process asks the applicant to identify the “responsible party,” which the IRS defines as “the person who ultimately owns or controls the entity or who exercises ultimate effective control over the entity.” In deciding who to list as the responsible party, the IRS encourages applicants to consider whether the party has “a level of control over, or

Massachusetts Supreme Court Approves Decanting in Kraft Family Trust

August 19, 2013

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What does a trustee do when an irrevocable trust needs to be modified?  Circumstances or laws may have changed in ways that could not have been anticipated at the time the trust was drafted.  In the past, a trustee who wanted to change some aspect of an irrevocable trust had few options, other than a court order to reform the trust which can be a costly and lengthy process.  Now, many states have alleviated the necessity of court approval to modify trusts by permitting “decanting.”

Decanting is the term generally used to describe the distribution of trust property to another trust pursuant to the trustee’s discretionary authority to make distributions to, or for the benefit of, one or more beneficiaries.  Decanting may be permitted by statute, by the terms of the original trust or by court-created law.  Currently, Massachusetts has

Court Dismisses Widow’s Action For Damages Against Trustees For Allegedly Fraudulent Information Return

Right now we are all in the peak of tax return filing season.  As part of the tax return process, many tax practitioners file information returns for the entities they represent. Any person, including a corporation, partnership, individual, estate, and trust, who makes a payment (such for as rent, wages, salaries, and annuities) must file an information return with the IRS to report the payment.  But what happens if a false information return is filed with the IRS?

In 1996, Congress enacted 26 U.S.C. § 7434(a), which gives victims of fraudulent filing activities a damage remedy against the perpetrators.  The provision applies whenever “any person willfully files a fraudulent information return with respect to payments purported to be made to any other person.”  It allows the subject of the false information return to recover from the person filing the return the greater of $5,000 or actual