Business Tax Reform High Priority

By:  Amanda Wilson

Recently, I was at the ABA Tax Section meeting in DC, and one refrain that I heard over and over is that tax reform is a major priority for Congress.  The Obama administration has basically shut down the possibility of personal tax reform by threatening a veto on any legislation that lowers the top individual tax rate from 39.6%.  However, business tax reform continues to be open for discussion, and there is a strong appetite for lowering the corporate tax rate.  The key issue, though, is that any tax reform will have to come soon – before the presidential campaign over shadows everything. read more

Who should you trust to be the trustee?

By Julia L. Frey.   One of the most important decisions one can make when setting up a trust for a child or other loved one is determining who to name as the trustee.  It is a job (not a cake-walk) that requires dilegence, an understanding of the fiduciary responsibilities and an understanding of what the grantor’s intent is for distributions under the Trust.  Over the years I have seen family members or friends named as trustees who have not understood the depth of their role or were not capable.   In one case, a family came to me after a family member stole all of the trust money to feed his drug habit, leaving the beneficiaries without any recourse as he had no means to repay the stolen funds.  Corporate trustees or co-trustees are often the answer to avoid such problems.  A just read a recent article in Worth Magazine by Patrick Kenefick with Neuberger Berman that was right on point so I commend it to you for your reading. read more

Treasury Department Takes Aim at Corporate Inversions

By:  Amanda Wilson

A few weeks ago, I posted about the increasing popularity of U.S. corporations moving their headquarters abroad, as illustrated most recently by the proposed Burger King/Tim Hortons merger. This type of transaction is referred to as a corporate inversion, which is a transaction in which a U.S. based multinational corporation restructures so that its U.S. parent is now owned by a foreign parent corporation (a Canadian corporation in the Burger King/Tim Hortons proposed acquisition). A corporate inversion has gained increasing popularity because of the high U.S. corporate tax rate and the desire to minimize U.S. taxes. For obvious reasons, the Obama administration does not like corporate inversions and wants to stop them. read more