CHECKLIST: 2017 Tax Act & Recent Developments

By Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP (Distinguished), J.D. Summary: The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act has changed almost every aspect of planning.  Consider the following. √ Sec. 199A: The 20% QBI deduction applies for 2018 – 2025. Consider the sunset of this tax bennie when evaluating the cost of planning to enhance whatever benefits you can get. Example: Before restructuring a business, will the payback over the years remaining be worth the cost? √ Charity: The new doubled standard deduction may eliminate any tax benefit from donations. Consider setting up a non-grantor trust to salvage that deduction. Example: You create an irrevocable…

Section 199A: Triple Net Leases Considered a Trade or Business?

By Alan S. Gassman J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), Florida State Bar Certified Specialist in Wills, Trusts & Estates, AEP (Distinguished) and Kelsey Weiss Introduction The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced the new, and sometimes problematic, Section 199A to the Internal Revenue Code. Section 199A was designed to provide taxpayers with a 20% deduction for qualified business income earned through qualifying trades or business. This deduction for business owners was added, most likely, in response to the significant tax cut the Act created for large corporations.1 Unfortunately, there is no single accepted definition of “trade or business,” so many taxpayers are in…

Dynasty Trust Situs Battle Royale

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) A “Dynasty Trust” is an irrevocable trust that continues for as long as the applicable state law allows.  For as long as it continues, the trust assets can be protected from estate taxes and, depending upon the choice of situs and how the trust is drafted, can also be protected from divorcing spouses and other creditors. The jurisdictional competition for Dynasty Trust supremacy is alive and well.  In this cut-throat industry where billions of dollars are being passed through Dynasty Trusts, the stage is now set for the Dynasty Trust Situs Battle Royale….

Blow Up Your Annual Client Maintenance Program!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law In this article, I addressed the marketplace issues confronting estate planning attorneys, in particular commoditization of our “products” and increasing low price competition.  One of the ways that I discussed to combat these issues is to emphasize how your “product” is better than your competitors’.  Another way to differentiate yourself is to emphasize your “service after the sale.”  When someone purchases a car, he or she wants to know what kind of service or maintenance program is available and what…

The LeBron of Asset Protection Trusts

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) What does LeBron Symbolize? LeBron James is the greatest current basketball player on the planet.  In fact, he is arguably the greatest of all time.  [If this article were written 20 or 30 years ago, it would have been called, “The Michael of Asset Protection Planning Trusts” to recognize Michael Jordan’s similar greatness.] LeBron symbolizes greatness.  In the asset protection industry, there are a number of different techniques, but only one technique can be the greatest.  That technique is simply the LeBron of asset protection techniques. The Different Asset Protection Options There are…

Identifying an Asset Protection Trust Candidate

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) If I had a Nickel for Every Time… If I had a nickel for every time an estate planning advisor called or emailed me with a prospective client that they deem to be an absolutely perfect asset protection trust candidate “because they’re in a lot of trouble”, I would be a rich man! This is How the Conversation Often Goes Bernie the Attorney:  Hi, Steve.  I have the perfect referral for you for an asset protection trust. Steve Oshins:  Great!  Tell me a little about the referral. Bernie the Attorney:  Well, my client…

199A – The Real Regulatory Story: Revelations From The Proposed Regulations

By Alan S. Gassman J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), Florida State Bar Certified Specialist in Wills, Trusts & Estates, AEP (Distinguished) As most estate planners know, the new Section 199A proposed regulations were released earlier in August to great fanfare and curiosity.  My team and I have spent considerable time, already, poring through the language and changes. We were given the opportunity to share our thoughts and summary of these regulations in an article featured on Forbes.com.  To read this article, click here. SECTION 199A RESOURCES Here are some other Section 199A resources that may be of interest to you: PROGRAM REPLAY: “Section 199A…

ASK THE EXPERT: Answers to Common Questions About IRA Trusts

By: The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. The IRA Inheritance Trust® (also known as a “Standalone Retirement Trust”, “IRA Beneficiary Trust” or just plain and simple “IRA Trust”) has now been around for over 10 years. The IRS approved this strategy in PLR200573044 and, even though, it’s been around for some time, it’s only now that so many estate planners are starting to implement and use this planning for their clients. Whether it’s fear of learning something new, not fully understanding or being clear about the benefits for using this trust strategy, or just not having ever heard of it, it…

IRS Notice 2018-54 Warns Taxpayers to Avoid State Work-Arounds $10,000 SALT Deduction Cap

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The $10,000 SALT Deduction Section 11042 of The Tax and Jobs Act limits an individual’s State and Local Tax Deduction (“SALT” deduction) to $10,000 per calendar year. Adoption of State Proposals to Work Around the SALT Deduction Limitations In response to this new limitation, some state legislatures are considering or have adopted legislative proposals that would allow taxpayers to make transfers to funds controlled by state or local governments, or other transferees specified by the state, in exchange for credits against the state or local taxes that the taxpayer is required to pay. …