Thoughts After Kiawah

By Keith Wood

It was great seeing many of you over the Memorial Day weekend at the Tax Section Annual Workshop in Kiawah.  I am pleased to say that we are making arrangements to be back at Kiawah next Memorial Day for the 2019 Tax Section Workshop.

I wanted to give out a special thank you to Kevin May for his efforts in coordinating with the Georgia Tax Section and the South Carolina Tax Section to plan an excellent program this year.  We also appreciate the generosity of our sponsors this year, Intuitive Compensation Group, Bessemer Trust, Monarch Private Capital, Forensic Strategic Solutions, LLC, Sterling Foundation Management and South Carolina Bar.

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Federal Income Tax Update, Part II

By Keith A. Wood

This is the second of two installments of this article. Read the first installment on the Tax Section blog here.

I. No Tax Basis Increase for Loan Guaranties Even After the S Corporation Loan Is Called in Full.

 An S corporation shareholder may deduct his/her pro rata share of any losses sustained by the corporation, but those loss deductions are limited to the sum of (a) the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the stock, and (b) any corporate indebtedness actually owed to the shareholder.  IRC § 1366(d)(1).

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Our Annual Workshop In Kiawah Is Just Two Months Away

By Keith Wood

On Wednesday, March 7, the Tax Section Council met at the Mecklenburg County Bar Center in Charlotte, and so I wanted to give everyone an update on some of the things happening in our Section.

First and foremost, Kevin May and his CLE Committee have organized an outstanding CLE agenda for the 17th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina/Georgia Tax Section Workshop to be held May 25-27 in Kiawah Island, S.C.  Below you will see a summary of the program agenda.

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Federal Income Tax Update, Part I

By Keith A. Wood

This is the first of two installments of this article. Read the second installment here.

I. Audit Statistics; What Are Your Chances of Being Audited?

The 2016 Internal Revenue Service Data Book (IR-2017-69) contains audit statistics for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016.  Here are the audit statistics for returns filed for calendar year 2015 (“CY 2015”):

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Tax Reform: Selected Planning Points

By Herman Spence III

Below are selected planning points regarding recent tax changes. This summary does not discuss which provisions are temporary and which are permanent.

A. Bunching Into One Year Charitable Contributions That Would Otherwise Be Made Over Several Years

The new tax law raises the standard deduction to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly. Only $10,000 of state income taxes and property taxes may be deducted. Many expenses that were previously deductible, including investment management expenses and employee expenses, are no longer deductible. Many individuals will now use the $24,000 standard deduction rather than itemizing deductions. Such a taxpayer will, in effect, lose the deductibility of charitable contributions. Some taxpayers may be able to mitigate that by making in a single year charitable contributions they would normally make over several years. Such a taxpayer may have itemized deductions exceeding $24,000 in the year in which charitable contributions are bunched.

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Tax Questions For Discussion: Please Respond

By Herman Spence

Please provide comments about the issues below to Herman Spence at  I will summarize the responses and post them on the Tax Section blog.  I will not mention any individual’s response and will not provide the names of responders.

  1.       North Carolina Stamp Taxes
  1.       Background. GS § 105-228.29 provides the stamp tax does not apply if no consideration in property or money is paid by the transferee to the transferor.  In an Attorney General’s opinion issued in 1973, a husband and wife were the sole shareholders of the corporation to which they conveyed a tract of land without consideration.  The Attorney General determined stamp taxes were not due but emphasized there would be  a contrary result if shares of stock were issued in consideration of the transfer of the property.
  2.       Transfer of real estate to an LLC upon the formation of the LLC.  To avoid the issuance of an LLC interest upon the contribution of property and to avoid the implication of the 1973 Attorney General’s opinion, do you first organize the LLC and issue LLC interests and later separately contribute property to the LLC without consideration?
  3.        Conveyance of property to LLC in anticipation of sale.  Is it reasonable to take the position no stamp taxes are due if property is transferred to a newly formed LLC shortly before the sale of the property, and the transaction is restructured as a sale of the LLC interests?  If it is unreasonable to convey the property to an LLC immediately before the sale of the LLC interests, is it reasonable to contribute the property to the LLC when the sale of the property is expected but there is not yet a sales contract?

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From the Chair: Kiawah In the Rear View — and On the Horizon

By Keith Wood

It was great seeing many of you over Memorial Day weekend at the North Carolina/South Carolina/Georgia Tax Update program in Kiawah. A special thanks to Isaac Bradley for all the hard work in putting that program together.

As some of you may already know, we have reserved the East Beach Conference Center for next year’s Annual Meeting in Kiawah again over Memorial Day weekend. We hope you will start making plans to join us in Kiawah that weekend. For those of you already planning to attend, we would ask that you encourage other co-workers and colleagues to make plans to attend as well.

Also, Kevin May of Graves May in Wilmington has agreed to chair this CLE Committee. I know he would appreciate suggestions for speakers or topics.

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Federal Income Tax Update: Part 2

By Keith A. Wood

This is the second of two installments of this article. The first installment was posted on the Tax Section blog on Jan. 16, 2017.

I. Hobby Losses: Horse Breeder Had For-Profit Activity.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the Tax Court and held Mr. Roberts engaged in his horse training activity “for profit.”  Roberts v. Commissioner, 117 AFTR 2d 2016-629. The IRS disallowed certain horse breeding activity losses for 2005 through 2008. In reviewing all of the relevant facts, the Tax Court determined although Mr. Roberts did not engage in the activity for profit during the first two years, he was engaged in horse related activities for profit under Section 183 for the last two tax years.

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Discharging Individual Income Taxes In Bankruptcy: Five Easy Pieces

By Heather Culp

A well-timed bankruptcy can be a powerful arrow in the quiver of a taxpayer with burdensome tax debt. Many lawyers and tax professionals are not aware a taxpayer’s personal liability for individual income tax debt can be discharged in bankruptcy, if the answer to each of the following five questions is YES:

  1. Have more than three years passed since the tax return giving rise to the tax liability was due, including applicable extensions? 11 U.S.C. §507(a)(8). Individual income taxes for the period ending 12/31/13 are thus the most recent taxes that could be discharged, as of May 2017 (but not until October 2017 if the taxpayer obtained an extension of time in which to file the return). Certain taxpayer actions can toll and thus extend this three-year period. For example, a prior bankruptcy tolls this three-year period for the length of the automatic stay plus 90 days; a request for a collection due process hearing (“a CDP request”) tolls the three-year period for the time the hearing is pending during the three-year period, plus 90 days. See language immediately following 11 U.S.C. §507(a)(8)(G).

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The Chair’s Comments: Kiawah is Calling

Tax Section

By Joshua D. Bryant

Fellow Tax Section Members:

It is hard to believe only three months remain in my term as chair of the Tax Section. It has been a rewarding experience, and I look forward to continuing to serve our section over the remainder of the 2016-2017 bar year.

The past few months have been busy for the section. In November, we held our second Tax Section Council meeting of the year at the Elon School of Law in Greensboro.  In conjunction with that meeting, we held our annual meeting with IRS representatives jointly with members of the Tax Committee of the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA).  The meeting gave attendees an opportunity to learn about IRS Field Collections initiatives aimed at increasing employment tax compliance and current areas of focus of Taxpayer Advocate Services.

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