Brown & Streza Blog
By David Keligian on 2/27/2012 5:24 PM
One of the most powerful techniques for the transfer of wealth to children and grandchildren is the intentionally defective grantor trust, or “IDIT”. The IDIT offers the following benefits:

• An opportunity to transfer significant wealth by getting assets out of your estate at the cost of little or no gift tax.

• Asset protection for the IDIT beneficiaries.

• Exemption from the generation skipping transfer tax for the IDIT, meaning the transferred wealth can be passed down to grandchildren and great-grandchildren without exposure to additional estate or gift taxes.

• The ability for the grantor to pay all income taxes on the IDITs taxable income. This amounts to an additional wealth transfer to the IDIT beneficiaries each and every year, without any gift taxes.

Unfortunately, President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 revenue proposals (read: “big tax increases”) propose doing away with the IDIT. In the proposal’s words: “The lack of coordination between the income and transfer tax rules applicable to a grantor trust creates opportunities to structure transactions between the deemed owner and the trust that can result in the transfer of significant wealth by the deemed owner without transfer tax consequences”.

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By David Keligian on 2/17/2012 1:15 PM
Businesses that use independent contractors have always been in the crosshairs of federal and state taxing agencies. Taxing agencies are unusually aggressive, because they feel it is easier to collect taxes from the companies who use independent contractors rather than the independent contractors themselves.

Independent contractor audits are again becoming a hot priority for the IRS. The legal rules really haven’t changed, it’s just that the IRS is becoming increasingly aggressive in targeting companies that use independent contractors to raise revenue. The state of California is even worse, because the state rules for independent contractor treatment are even less favorable than the federal rules.

The federal rules incorporate a “safe harbor” that most taxpayers don’t know about. The “safe harbor” is contained in the provisions of the Revenue Act of 1978. There are definite strategies involved in positioning businesses to take advantage of the safe harbor. The safe harbor allows a taxpayer to...