Tax Family Law

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War of the Rosas – Creative Tax Strategies to Balance the Financial Results in Divorce Planning

The War of the Roses is a movie classic above the trials and tribulations of marriage and divorce that sends shivers equally down the spine of about those married and unmarried. Several quotes from the movie include the...more

Court Upholds Foreclosure on Taxpayer’s Primary Residence in Satisfaction of Federal Tax Lien

In United States v. Smith, 117 AFTR 2d 2016-XXXX (February 8, 2016), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington allowed the Federal government to foreclose on the taxpayers’ primary residence in...more

Guardianship Court Permitted to Annul Marriage [Florida]

An incapacitated ward had his rights to contract removed by a guardianship court. The ward thereafter married, without court approval. The marriage was then challenged based on FS 744.3215(2)(a) (2013). That statute provides...more

May a trustee with discretionary authority to make principal distributions ever decant for the sole purpose of increasing...

The Uniform Trust Code requires that the trustee notify the qualified beneficiaries, usually the current beneficiaries and presumptive remaindermen, in advance of any change in the method or rate of the trustee’s...more

Annual Estate Planning Newsletter: Part Four

Action Item: This is the fourth installment of our Annual Estate Planning Newsletter, and focuses on matters of interest to married couples. We urge you to review this installment to ensure that your 2016 estate and tax...more

Avoid a soap opera with updated Beneficiary forms

Yes, I will admit it: I love soap operas. My favorite show of all-time is Dallas and when I was a senior in high school and I was at home around 12:30 pm, I watched in succession: Young and The Restless, Bold and The...more

Tax and Estate Planning Newsletter - Winter 2015

Dear Clients and Colleagues: The holiday season brings thoughts of the New Year, with reflections on recent changes and resolutions for the future. During this season of reflection and planning, consider the effect of...more

IRS Provides Additional Guidance on Treatment of Same-Sex Marriages under Benefit Plans

In IRS Notice 2015-86, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided guidance to sponsors and administrators of employee benefit plans regarding the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to...more

IRS Notice 2015-86 — The Limited Effect of Obergefell

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-86, providing guidance on the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to qualified retirement plans and health and welfare...more

Wills, Estates and Trusts Update: Why the New 2016 Rules for Trusts and Estates in Canada May Surprise You and Why the Department...

January 1, 2016 will bring many significant changes to the taxation of trusts and estates in Canada. These changes were passed into law in December 2014, after being announced as part of the 2014 federal budget. Most people...more

IRS Issues Guidance on Application of Obergefell Decision to Benefit Plans

This past June, the United States Supreme Court held in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015), that the Fourteenth Amendment (i) requires a state’s civil marriage laws to apply to same-sex couples on the...more

Health Care Coverage for California Employers After Obergefell v. Hodges

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark marriage-equality decision this summer (Obergefell v. Hodges), we now have full equality between same-sex and opposite-sex spouses under federal and state law. That decision affects...more

IRS Eases Administrative Oversight of Able Accounts

As discussed in earlier blog posts, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law in December 2014. Under the ABLE Act, a so-called ABLE account can be established for a disabled individual. The...more

Beware of conflating power of appointment doctrine and merger doctrine in the trust context

Assume a trust that was initially for the benefit of its settlor (who is now dead) has the following additional terms: All net trust-accounting income to settlor’s surviving spouse (X) for life; trustee may invade principal...more

IRS Proposed Regs Redefine the Terms “Husband” and “Wife”

The Supreme Court has recently struck down state bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 US ___ (2015), after previously striking down the federal exclusion of same-sex couples from...more

Wealth Management Update - November 2015

November Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The November § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs...more

Succession Planning: “If I get hit by a bus tomorrow…”

Let’s face reality. We are all going to pass on someday, so we might as well be prepared and lessen the burden for those following behind us. One of the first steps in effective succession planning is to gather in one place...more

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations to Accommodate Obergefell

On October 21, 2015, the IRS issued proposed regulations to clarify the treatment of same-sex spouses for federal tax purposes. By way of background, in 2013, the United States Supreme Court held in United States v. Windsor...more

IRS Clarifies Same-Sex Marriages for Tax Purposes

Following up on the Supreme Court’s decisions in both Windsor v. United States and Obergefell v. Hodges, discussed in our earlier Alerts (here and here), on October 21, 2015 the IRS issue proposed regulations clarifying that...more

Insight on Estate Planning - October/November 2015

In This Issue: - The net investment income tax and your estate plan: How one affects the other - Use a noncharitable purpose trust to achieve a variety of goals - Addressing adopted children or stepchildren in your...more

When The Wealthy Divorce, They Regularly Engage Forensic Accountants

Forbes Magazine published an article on “When The Wealthy Divorce, They Regularly Engage Forensic Accountants” this week. Couples with a large amount wealth and substantial assets to be divided do often require the services...more

Florida Supreme Court Gives Expansive Protection to Husband’s Separate Property under a Prenuptial Agreement

A divorcing wife asserted that because a 20 year old prenuptial agreement made no specific reference to enhancement in value of nonmarital property attributable to marital labor or funds, the enhancement in value to the...more

Innocent Spouse Relief Granted Due to Spousal Abuse Even If Requesting Spouse Had Knowledge of Tax Deficiency

In a recent Tax Court case, innocent spouse relief was granted to a Florida taxpayer to relieve her from over $400,000 in tax deficiency and penalties. Tax Court typically is reluctant to grant innocent spouse relief when the...more

The Impact Of Obergefell On Employee Benefits

Prior to the Obergefell decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Windsor, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which mandated that federal laws only recognize opposite-sex marriages. As a result of...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

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