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Summary of Income, Business, and International Provisions in New Tax Bill

November 3, 2017

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Our colleagues in our Tax Advice and Controversy group have also summarized the proposed changes to individual, business, and international taxes in the new bill released on November 2 by the House Ways and Means Committee.

SUMMARY OF NEW TAX BILL PROPOSAL

November 3, 2017

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SUMMARY OF NEW TAX BILL PROPOSAL

November 3, 2017

Authored by: Charles Lin

House Republicans released their new tax bill on November 2, 2017.  As expected for such a significant proposal, the final bill, if passed, will likely look different.  Nonetheless, the bill, in its current form, provides the base starting point from which the House GOP intends to negotiate, both within their party and without.

The changes in the tax bill related to transfer taxes are as follows:

  • The transfer tax exemption for gift, estate, and GST purposes is doubled in 2018, from $5,000,000 per person to $10,000,000, as previously indexed for inflation – $11,200,000 per person – and indexed from there.
  • The estate and generation-skipping transfer tax will be fully repealed on January 1, 2024.
  • “Step-up” basis on death for income tax purposes of inherited property (presumably other than retirement plan benefits and other items of “income in respect of a decedent”) would remain in effect, even after 2023,

IRS Gives Relief to Victims of Hurricane Harvey

September 1, 2017

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Due to the devastation and upheaval caused by Hurricane Harvey, the Internal Revenue Service is providing extra time for certain individuals and businesses to file their returns and pay taxes.  Among the relief provided is a new January 31, 2018 filing deadline for individual taxpayers who have valid extensions until October 16 and businesses which have extensions until September 15.  According to IR-2017-135:

“The IRS is now offering this expanded relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently, 18 counties are eligible, but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief.”

The IRS has set up a landing page to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Update: The IRS has extended similar relief to victims of Hurricane Irma.  

Bryan Cave’s Kathleen Sherby Recognized by Marquis Who’s Who

August 29, 2017

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Congratulations to Kathleen Sherby of Bryan Cave’s Private Client Services team for her “Lifetime Achiever” recognition by Marquis Who’s Who:

“Supported by more than 40 years of professional experience, Ms. Sherby serves as a partner with Bryan Cave LLP, where she started in 1976 as an associate. In addition to her work with the firm, she lends her services to her community through the Saint Louis Science Center, where she has served on the board of trustees since 2010. Over the years, she has also worked with her community in various board positions for the Junior League in Saint Louis, the Bequest and Gift Council of Saint Louis University, the Clayton Education Foundation, and the bi-state chapter of the American Red Cross.”

Bryan Cave’s Private Client Team Members Make 2018 “Best Lawyers in America” List

August 29, 2017

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Congratulations to the attorneys at Bryan Cave who made the 2018 “Best Lawyers in America” List, including the following members of our Private Client Services team:

Kimberly E. Civins (Atlanta)

William Linkous Jr. (Atlanta)

Renee M. Gabbard (Irvine)

Shannon K. Barks (Kansas City)

B. John Readey III (Kansas City)

Lawrence Brody (St. Louis)

Stephen B. Daiker (St. Louis)

John D. Schaperkotter (St. Louis)

Kathleen R. Sherby (St. Louis)

Douglas J. Stanley (St. Louis)

Shannon K. Barks of our Kansas City office was also recognized as a “Lawyer of the Year“.

THE STATUTE “SAYS WHAT IT MEANS AND MEANS WHAT IT SAYS”

U.S. v. McNICOL 829 F.3d 77 (1st Cir. 2016) (cert. denied 1/9/2017)

Trusts and Estates practitioners often focus solely on the Tax Code found in Title 26 of the United States Code and ignore other parts of the United States Code (U.S.C.). However, it is a mistake to do so as Marci McNicol learned first-hand. In this case, the Federal Priority Statute found in 31 U.S.C. § 3713 came into play to impose liability on Marci for the decedent’s unpaid Federal income tax liability.

Here, at the time of his death, the decedent owed over $300,000 in Federal income taxes. As a result of this and other liabilities, the decedent’s estate, which consisted almost entirely of interests in two closely held companies, was insolvent. Marci, the decedent’s widow, transferred decedent’s interest in one of the companies to herself even before the court had appointed

COPYING IS BEST IN THE ING WORLD

PLR 201642019

Not only is strict adherence to the structure set out in prior favorable rulings best, it is essential when it comes to obtaining a favorable ING ruling. The provisions in the trust document need to carve a very fine line through the grantor trust/incomplete gift rules to obtain a favorable ING ruling. The goal is to have the Service rule that a trust is not a grantor trust for income tax purposes yet not a completed gift for gift tax purposes and included in the grantor’s estate to get a basis adjustment at death.

The earliest ruling, ILM 201208026, fell short of a favorable ruling with the Service finding that the retained testamentary power of appointment was insufficient to avoid a completed gift. By 2014, practitioners had carefully studied this early ruling and devised a set of trust provisions that

NO AUTOMATIC CLOSING LETTER, BUT WAIT – THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES

IRS Notice 2017-12

The Service issued FAQs in June of 2015 to let practitioners know that they were no longer routinely issuing closing letters. The Service instructed practitioners that they would now have to request such a closing letter, but could not do so until 4 months after filing the estate tax return. Their goal was to reduce the amount of work the Service needed to complete as a cost cutting measure. However, taxpayers need closure and the requests for closing letters almost became routine. Because so many practitioners were routinely requesting closing letters, the Service let it be known informally, with a posting on its website, that a transcript could be requested, and would be an acceptable substitute for an estate tax closing letter. But requesting such a transcript has not been a simple matter, with many groans of frustration along the way. The Service has now provided guidance

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