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The Test for Profit Motive: Allowance of Deductions under IRC § 183 Test

What factors aid the Tax Court in deciding when an activity is entered into with a “profit motive” (with allowable ordinary and necessary expenses) versus a hobby (where losses may be taken only up to the amount of profit received)? Taxpayers can deduct all ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred in carrying on a trade or business,[1] for the production or collection of income,[2] or for the management, conservation, or maintenance of property held

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The Truth about Amending Tax Returns

Clients are untrustworthy.  As a tax controversy attorney, this is my experience. I have heard that other types of law deals with more honorable sorts, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  When a client comes to you and says “whoopsie, I forgot to report [insert absurdly large number here] on my return, what should I do?” what should you tell him?  What if the IRS has already discovered the understatement?  Is he under

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Grantor Trusts – Part IV of IV – Retained Powers and Non-Grantor Owners

In Part I of this series on Grantor Trusts, we look at the nature of trusts in general.  In Part II, we shift to a look at grantor trusts, and a few definitional rules.  In Part III and Part IV, we take a deep dive into the interests that a grantor may retain that will cause a trust to be treated as a grantor trust as well as instances in which a person other than

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Grantor Trusts – Part III of IV – Reversionary Interests and Powers to Control Beneficial Enjoyment

In Part I of this series on Grantor Trusts, we look at the nature of trusts in general.  In Part II, we shift to a look at grantor trusts, and a few definitional rules.  In Part III and Part IV, we take a deep dive into the interests that a grantor may retain that will cause a trust to be treated as a grantor trust as well as instances in which a person other than

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Grantor Trusts – Part II of IV – Introduction to Grantor Trusts

In Part I of this series on Grantor Trusts, we look at the nature of trusts in general.  In Part II, we shift to a look at grantor trusts, and a few definitional rules.  In Part III and Part IV, we take a deep dive into the interests that a grantor may retain that will cause a trust to be treated as a grantor trust as well as instances in which a person other than

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Grantor Trusts – Part I of IV – Introduction to Trusts and Taxes

When I told my boss that I was going to write an article on grantor trusts, he responded (without hesitation sensitivity, or thought), “You know, a lot of people have written about grantor trusts.” He’s not wrong. Not helpful—but not wrong Search Google, and you will find numerous websites with cursory discussions on grantor trusts.  Look a little deeper, and you may even find some of the very good scholarly articles that I drew from

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Worker Classification: The Thin Line between Employees and Independent Contractors

Uncle Bill, Emu Farmer Imagine the following scenario—if you will. Your Uncle Bill operates a successful emu farm in southeastern Maine, so successful in fact that he finds himself unable to do the work on his own. (Uncle Bill no longer has your cousin Leroy to lean on, due to his most recent “run in” with the law involving a charge of driving a riding lawnmower while intoxicated, a frolic and detour which left the

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The Truth about Amending Tax Returns

Clients are untrustworthy.  As a tax controversy attorney, this is my experience. I have heard that other types of law deals with more honorable sorts, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  When a client comes to you and says “whoopsie, I forgot to report [insert absurdly large number

Read More »

Mathews v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-85)

On July 8, 2021, the Tax Court issued a Memorandum Opinion in the case of Mathews v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-85). The primary issue presented in Mathews was whether the Tax Court had jurisdiction to hear a petitioner when the pro se petitioner filed his petition (sent a letter to

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Delgado v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-84)

On July 7, 2021, the Tax Court issued a Memorandum Opinion in the case of Delgado v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-84). The primary issue presented in Delgado was whether the petitioner’s frivolous argument that he did not receive taxable income in 2017 because he was not engaged in a “trade

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Peterfreund v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-83)

On July 7, 2021, the Tax Court issued a Memorandum Opinion in the case of Peterfreund v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-83). The primary issue presented in Peterfreund was whether the IRS’s Whistleblower Office (WBO) abused its discretion because it did not initiate an administrative or judicial action and it did

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Pragias v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-82)

On June 30, 2021, the Tax Court issued a Memorandum Opinion in the case of Pragias v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-82). The primary issue presented in Pragias was whether the six-year statute of limitations under IRC § 6501(e) (substantial omission of items) applied. The Substantial Omission Extension under IRC §

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