Michael Jackson estate prevails on lower valuation in U.S. tax court

Though he passed away in 2009, the Michael Jackson estate has been in an extremely long and ongoing fight with the IRS over the valuation of the estate for tax purposes. Earlier in May, Tax Court Judge Mark Holmes ruled that the combined value of Jackson’s assets was around $111.5 million. For comparison, Jackson’s estate …

Keep Reading

How many people really file estate tax returns?

In the recent Pub 5332, the IRS has released statistics about those taxpayers in the U.S. who have filed estate tax returns over the past ten years. Estate tax returns, also known as Form 706, must be filed by decedents who are recipients of a “gross estate” at death over a certain filing threshold. For …

Keep Reading

The gift tax: Frequently asked questions part 2

When you present gifts to family and friends, probably the last thing on your mind – or theirs – is gift tax. For this reason, the gift tax often is often overlooked, and the average person does not know much about it. Here are more FAQs to get you familiarized with them. Don’t miss: The …

Keep Reading

The gift tax: Frequently asked questions part 1

When you present gifts to family and friends, probably the last thing on your mind – or theirs – is gift tax. For this reason, the gift tax often is often overlooked, and the average person does not know much about it. So, here are some FAQs to get you familiarized with gift taxes. Don’t …

Keep Reading

Who pays the deceased’s taxes?

When a person dies, you might be wondering who is responsible for paying his or her taxes. Generally, the person’s estate or trust is responsible for those liabilities and pays them before making distributions to the beneficiaries. In situations where the liabilities exceed the assets (i.e. insolvent), state law governs which creditors get paid first. …

Keep Reading

Estate and tax planning for your home

There are numerous ways to own real estate and these ownership arrangements have significant legal and tax ramifications. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular arrangements and what might happen after death. First, let’s assume that John and Jane Smith are married, and that Joe Nelson is John’s business partner. John died …

Keep Reading

Abandoned property up for public bid

Ever wondered what happens to the contents of abandoned safety deposit boxes? Turns out after a number of years held by the state and listed on sites such as https://azdor.gov/unclaimed-property it ends up being auctioned off and starting today you can bid on what was inside! The Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) will hold a …

Keep Reading

What happens if I die without a will?

In Season 6, Episode 5 of Parks and Recreation, Ben Wyatt tells Ron Swanson “If you die and you don’t have a real will, most of what you own will go to the government”. While in certain cases there is a sliver of truth to that statement, in Ron’s situation it would not apply. Now …

Keep Reading

Court ruling holds decedent’s estate liable for FBAR penalties

Dean Danielson was a U.S. citizen who formed a corporation called Sugar Creek in the 90’s. The company was in the business of selling Swiss annuities, and he opened two foreign bank accounts (one in Canada and one in Lichtenstein) in the company’s name. In the years 2006 through 2009, the amounts in those bank …

Keep Reading