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Family Businesses: Controls, Successions and Sales

Originally posted on the BCLP Private Wealth Insight Blog found here.

The family business not only represents the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of the founders, sometimes across generations, but is often a reflection of the founder’s and family’s values and beliefs.

The family business has the potential to grow, adapt and continue to deliver value across generations – but can it, will it and should it?

Should the founders pass it on or sell it?  Are the options binary?

In weighing up the options, the issues can sometimes seem conflicting.

  • Does the need for financial freedom – to provide financial support to family; to explore new investments or philanthropic ambitions – necessarily mean the family business must be converted to cash?
  • If there is no family member willing and capable of taking on leadership of the business, can the family business, to which the family

A 200% Tax on Self-Dealing? And People Think the Estate Tax is High!

With research and drafting assistance provided by our extern from Washington University School of Law, Rachael Lynch.

Now that we’ve scared you with the potentially high taxes for self-dealing in private foundations, what is self dealing?

Self dealing includes any of the following transactions:

1. sale or exchange, or leasing, of property between a private foundation and a disqualified person (click here for a definition of a disqualified person); 2. lending of money or other extension of credit between a private foundation and a disqualified person; 3. furnishing of goods, services, or facilities between a private foundation and a disqualified person; 4. payment of compensation by a foundation to a disqualified person; 5. transfer of income or assets of a private foundation to a disqualified person; and 6. agreement by a private foundation to make any payment to a government official (other than an agreement to hire the official when

More Scrutiny of Donor Advised Funds

More Scrutiny of Donor Advised Funds

December 8, 2017

Authored by: Keith Kehrer

Notice 2017-73, released on December 4, 2017, describes potential approaches that may be taken to address issues raised regarding the use of donor advised funds (“DAF”). The Treasury and IRS are considering developing proposed regulations under § 4967 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) that would, if finalized, provide that: (1) certain distributions from a DAF that pay for the purchase of tickets that enable a donor, donor advisor, or related person to attend or participate in a charity-sponsored event result in a more than incidental benefit to such person under § 4967; and (2) certain distributions from a DAF that the distributee charity treats as fulfilling a pledge made by a donor, donor advisor, or related person, do not result in a more than incidental benefit under § 4967 if certain requirements are met. In addition, the Treasury Department and the IRS are considering developing proposed regulations that would

IRS Grants Taxpayers Two-Year Window to File Portability Election

In a long-awaited move, the IRS announced recently that taxpayers will now have at least two years to file an estate tax return to elect portability of a decedent’s unused estate tax exemption to the decedent’s surviving spouse.

The new rule was articulated by the IRS in Revenue Procedure 2017-34 and became effective as of June 9, 2017.  Under this new two year filing window, which the IRS characterizes as a “simplified method for certain taxpayers to obtain an extension of time  . . . to make a ‘portability’ election”, a decedent’s estate will have until the later of January 2, 2018 or the second anniversary of the decedent’s death to file an estate tax return to elect portability.  In order to take advantage of this simplified method for obtaining an extension of

More on Transfer Tax Issues Post Windsor and the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage

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In a recent Notice, the Internal Revenue Service set forth some administrative procedures helping taxpayers recalculate gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemption with respect to gifts and bequests made to or for the benefit of a same-sex spouse, or descendants of same-sex spouses before the Supreme Court Case United States v. Windsor was decided, even though the statute of limitation for claiming such exemption had expired.

Prior to the Windsor decision, the U.S. government (and by extension, the Internal Revenue Service) did not recognize marriages of same-sex couples. In the Windsor case, the estate of a decedent sought to claim the estate tax marital deduction for bequests to the decedent’s same-sex spouse (the couple was legally married in Canada and their marriage was recognized by their home state of New York prior to

Planning and the Death of the Death Tax

Planning and the Death of the Death Tax

May 1, 2017

Authored by: Andrew Bleyer and Larry Brody

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On Wednesday afternoon the White House again proposed eliminating the so-called death tax as part of its tax reform plan, but the details remain sparse.  When pressed for specifics Director Cohn simply stated that with the implementation of the administration’s tax plan, the death tax would disappear.

The phrase “death tax” entered the popular lexicon by way of tax reformers wanting to summarize and caricature the several parts of the Federal transfer tax system.

30 Rock, Oysters, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

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Billionaire David Rockefeller, the grandson of John D. Rockefeller, passed away recently at the age of 101.  In 2017, Forbes estimated that his fortune, investments in real estate, share of family trusts, and other holdings were worth $3.3 billion.  However, because of his family history, it is quite possible that a large portion of that $3.3 billion will not be subject to the estate tax upon his death.

Benefactors Beware: Fake Charities Included in IRS List of Top Tax Scams for 2017

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Written by Emily Manns and originally posted on BryanCaveCharityLaw.com

Every year, the IRS issues its “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams list, a compilation of tactics and devices used by scam artists against taxpayers.  While the threat exists year-round, the IRS promulgates the list ahead of filing season. As susceptible taxpayers prepare their returns, they face a higher risk of being targeted.

Court Orders Administrator To Elect Portability

The following was written by Luke Lantta of Bryan Cave’s fiduciary litigation team and originally posted here

When the IRS enacted the portability election provisions in 2011, which allowed estates of married taxpayers to pass along the unused part of their estate and gift tax exclusion amount to their surviving spouse, it remarked that it “expect[ed] that most estates of people who are married will want to make the portability election. . . .”  But, to elect portability, an estate tax return must be filed in order to pass along the exclusion.  So, what happens when an executorrefuses to elect portability?  Take them to court, of course.

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