• February 13, 2017

    Mnuchin Wins Confirmation As Treasury Secretary

    The U.S. Senate approved President Donald Trump’s choice for treasury secretary Monday night amid ongoing partisan fights over the president’s Cabinet and a brewing political storm over financial regulations and tax policy.

  • February 13, 2017

    Deduction On $43M Mine Sale Profits OK'd By Canadian Court

    Canadian mining company Barrick Gold Corp. won a victory against the country’s tax authorities, when a tax court judge recently ruled that it is entitled to claim a deduction on nearly CA$57 million ($43.4 million) of profits from a mine that Barrick sold its interests in.

  • February 13, 2017

    Head Of $900M ZeekRewards Ponzi Scheme Gets 15 Years

    A North Carolina federal judge on Monday sentenced the former chief executive of ZeekRewards to serve nearly 15 years in prison and pay $244 million in restitution for his role operating a $900 million internet Ponzi scheme.

  • February 13, 2017

    Oregon Art Museum Is Tax Exempt, Court Rules

    A Portland art museum’s lease of space to commercial tenants does not disqualify the nonprofit from a county property tax exemption, the Oregon Tax Court ruled Thursday, overturning the decision of a county tax assessor.

  • February 13, 2017

    Pa. High Court To Hold Off On Philly Soda Tax Appeal

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court won’t take special jurisdiction over a pending appeal following the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the city of Philadelphia’s new tax on sugar-sweetened drinks and diet soda, according to a notice filed Monday.

  • February 13, 2017

    Real Estate Execs Hit Firms, Atty With $30M Tax Shelter Suit

    Former executives for a New York real estate firm on Friday sued in state court Herrick Feinstein LLP, Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP and Mazars USA LLP, the former employers of a tax attorney and accountant who allegedly advised the real estate company to employ tax strategies found to be abusive and illegal.

  • February 13, 2017

    IRS Won't Apply 5th Circ. Accounting Ruling For Farmers

    A Fifth Circuit ruling allowing a Texas rancher to use a preferred accounting method will not be applied to most other taxpayers in similar situations, the IRS said Monday.

  • February 13, 2017

    South Dakota, Tribe Seek Quick Wins In Casino Tax Suit

    The state of South Dakota and the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe both sought quick wins in federal court Friday in a tax dispute, with the state arguing that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act doesn’t preempt the collection of a use tax on purchases by those who aren't members of the tribe.

  • February 10, 2017

    Christie Axes Bill To Revive Biz-Friendly Zones In 5 Cities

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday conditionally vetoed legislation that would have restored designations providing reduced sales taxes and other benefits to merchants in five cities, drawing criticism from Democratic lawmakers and a statewide business association.

  • February 10, 2017

    Biz Prof Gets 7-Month Prison Stretch For $220M Tax Scheme

    A University of Rochester emeritus professor on Friday was sentenced in Virginia federal court to seven months in prison for a tax evasion scheme relying on secret overseas accounts to conceal $220 million in assets from the Internal Revenue Service.

  • February 10, 2017

    DOJ Moves To Foreclose On Wyly Widow’s Dallas Home

    The U.S. Department of Justice asked a Texas federal court on Thursday to let it foreclose on Caroline Dee Wyly’s $8 million Dallas home, the latest move in a yearslong fraud and tax-avoidance case that’s entered a new phase since Wyly’s bankruptcy proceeding was converted to Chapter 7 in November.

  • February 10, 2017

    WMI Hits Back At $5M Tax Consulting Fee, Sanction Claims

    Liquidating trustees of long-bankrupt Washington Mutual Inc. fired back late Thursday at a Grant Thornton LLP bid for bankruptcy court sanctions against remnants of the Chapter 11 estate, saying the tax adviser’s demand for a $5 million fee misrepresented benefits of its work.

  • February 10, 2017

    Match CEO Nixes NY Taxes, Penalties Based On Dallas Move's CEO is off the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in New York state taxes and penalties after a state Division of Tax Appeals decision made public Thursday held that his real home during the years in question was in Dallas, not Manhattan.

  • February 10, 2017

    Ga. Introduces Bill In Line With U.S. Partnership Audit Law

    Georgia has become the third state to introduce legislation in line with a federal law that was passed in 2015 to change how partnerships will be audited.

  • February 10, 2017

    Dems Say Trump Has Flipped, Now Supports Ex-Im

    A pair of Democratic senators said Thursday that President Donald Trump has changed his position on the U.S. Export-Import Bank — which he once blasted as “featherbedding” for politicians and corporate interests — and now supports returning the bank to its full lending capacity.

  • February 10, 2017

    IRS Says Conservative Group's Political Bias Claim Is Moot

    The IRS countered a conservative advocacy group’s continued efforts to litigate claims of discrimination and political bias, saying in a court filing on Thursday that the group’s arguments of potential future harm are beyond the scope of its original complaint.

  • February 10, 2017

    Taxation With Representation: Vinson, Bracewell, Debevoise

    In this week’s Taxation With Representation, Parsley Energy in Texas makes its biggest expansion to date with the acquisition of $2.8 billion of oil and gas assets, private equity shop Clayton Dubilier & Rice enters into a $2.3 billion sale of Mauser Group, and CyrusOne Inc. acquires two data centers for $490 million.

  • February 9, 2017

    PwC Says Job Applicants Can't Sue For Age Discrimination

    PricewaterhouseCoopers urged a California federal judge at a hearing Thursday to throw out a putative class action alleging the accounting firm doesn't consider older job applicants, arguing that disparate impact claims under federal age discrimination law can only be brought by existing employees, not prospective ones.

  • February 9, 2017

    GOP Plan For Pass-Throughs Raises Tax Evasion Alarm

    A Republican plan to stop taxing income for many small businesses at individual rates is raising concerns that business owners will be able to evade taxes by recharacterizing personal wages as business income that will be taxed at a lower rate.

  • February 9, 2017

    IRS Objects To Releases In Samson Resources Ch. 11 Plan

    The Internal Revenue Service objected Thursday to provisions of Samson Resources Corp.’s Chapter 11 plan that it said could block the agency from charging interest on debts to the government and prevent it from holding back payments to offset company-related tax debts.

Expert Analysis

  • Taxing Marijuana: A Hazy Issue For Municipal Bankruptcy

    Katherine Lewis

    Recent court holdings that marijuana businesses are barred from federal bankruptcy protection may pose a serious problem for fiscally distressed municipalities looking for Chapter 9 relief — specifically those that tax marijuana sales, says Katherine Lewis of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • An Inconvenient Forum: Circuit Split Remains

    Igor Timofeyev

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to decline consideration of the question in Belize’s recent petitions leaves in place divergent applications of the forum non conveniens doctrine by U.S. federal courts in foreign arbitral award enforcement actions. For now, parties seeking to enforce foreign arbitral awards in the United States still have an important strategic decision to make, say attorneys with Paul Hastings LLP.

  • Gold IRAs: 8 Questions — And Answers — For Clients

    Christopher Johnson

    Given the complex rules that govern opening and maintaining a self-directed individual retirement account to hold physical precious metals, and the possible tax consequences, many companies that offer such IRA products advise their clients to consult their attorney before opening one. Trusts and estates attorney Christopher Johnson addresses key questions that clients may ask prior to opening a gold IRA.

  • IRS Offers Clarity On Production Tax Credit Safe Harbors

    Michael Didriksen.jpg

    Last month the Internal Revenue Service issued a notice clarifying safe harbors for determining when construction of a facility has begun for which a taxpayer is eligible for the renewable electricity production tax credit or the investment tax credit. The notice permits some use of different safe harbors in alternate years, clarifies treatment of retrofitted facilities, and provides other guidance, say attorneys from Baker Botts LLP.

  • How Litigation Funding Is Bringing Champerty Back To Life

    John H. Beisner

    While some courts have declined to apply the common-law doctrine of champerty to invalidate third-party litigation funding agreements, two recent rulings by appellate courts in New York and Pennsylvania have brought renewed attention to champerty principles, casting doubts on the legality of certain forms of third-party litigation funding, say John Beisner and Jordan Schwartz of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • A Federal Crackdown On Tax Zapper Software

    Matthew Lee

    Revenue suppression or “tax zapper” programs delete some or all of a restaurant’s cash transactions and then reconcile the books of the business, lowering the firm's tax bill. States have battled zappers for years, but the case of United States v. John Yin, filed last month in the Western District of Washington, shows federal authorities are now joining the fight, says Matthew Lee of Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • Attracting And Retaining The Millennial Lawyer

    Christopher Imperiale

    Instead of trying to change the new workforce to follow a law firm's existing processes and procedures, perhaps it's time for firms to start changing their processes and procedures to better accommodate the mentality of this next generation of lawyers, says Christopher Imperiale, a law firm adviser with Berdon LLP.

  • Art Market Tax Probes Make Domestic Freeports Appealing

    Desiree Moore

    As home to high art auction prices and hefty sales and use taxes, New York City has seen its share of art-related tax fraud. Now, as law enforcement scrutinizes tax compliance in the art world, collectors may wish to avoid New York sales taxes legally, by shipping their purchases to a domestic freeport, say Desiree Moore and Blaise Niosi of K&L Gates LLP.

  • It’s Time To Change The Law Firm Business Model

    Lucia Chiocchio

    Every year, statistics reveal very little change in the number of women and minorities in the ranks of partnership. So how do law firms change this painfully slow rate of progress? It takes more than adding a diversity policy or a women’s leadership program to the current law firm business model, says Lucia Chiocchio, co-chair of Cuddy & Feder LLP's telecommunications and land use, zoning & development groups.

  • Amended Rule 37(e): 1 Year Later

    Samantha Southall

    After a full year in effect, the amended Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) has been tested in a variety of district courts. A sampling of these decisions reveals that courts seem to be adhering closely to the amended rule and ordering adverse inference instructions only where there was intent to deprive another party of access to relevant information, say Carrie Amezcua and Samantha Southall of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.