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Atlanta 30th Annual Tax and Business Planning Seminar

December 1, 2015
Cobb Galleria Centre

Luncheon Topic

Some Things Change and Some Things Stay the Same Way - Judicial Highlights

The IRS still hates deductions.  After the Tax Court rejected the IRS position in two captive insurance cases (Rent-a-Center and Securitas – now helped by RVI), the IRS put captives on the Dirty Dozen list.  The assault on conservation easements continues with mixed results, the Fifth Circuit saved ordinary partnership abandonment losses in Pilgrim’s Pride, and Justice Roberts tortured the Queen’s English in the second Obamacare case.  After repeated threats, the tangible prop regs took effect.  And, perhaps of equal impact, the Tax Court fortified the reliance defense against penalties in CNT and Webber.  Come hear it all!

Presenter:  David Aughtry

Workshop Group I

IA. Selected Topics in Tax-free Corporate and Partnership Mergers

A review of the most commonly used forms of corporate tax-free reorganizations as well as the often overlooked judicial requirements, an examination of the Partnership merger regulations including determination of the surviving partnership, and a review of IRS requirements for obtaining Private Letter Rulings on reorganizations.

Presenters: Scott A. Augustine and Brett W. Beveridge

IB.  The Family Game of Thrones: A Planner’s Guide to Drafting Effective Business Succession Plans

Is your business ready to handle the occurrence of disastrous events involving one of its owners, whether it be death, disability or divorce?  This speech will focus on succession planning that every closely held business must consider and do so, from an income tax planning, estate planning, and transactional perspective.  Topics to be discussed include the use, structure and interplay of trusts and common corporate documents to accomplish the business owners' goals for the future governance of the company.  Examples of succession related documents will be provided and analyzed.

Presenters: Thomas E. Jones and Karen Kurtz Havey

IC.  What’s It Worth? Handling a Valuation Case From Exam Through Trial

Historically a creature most commonly seen in the estate, gift, and charitable world, valuations increasingly impact the realm of corporate tax planning as the living statutory standard preferred by Congress – a standard that theoretically captures “fairness” and changing economics.  In 1998, the Tax Court noted that disputes over valuations filled the Court’s dockets because approximately 243 Sections of the Internal Revenue Code required fair market value estimates in order to assess tax liability.  Because valuations in tax planning and tax controversy remain so important, advisors need to be knowledgeable in all aspects of this area of law.  To this end, the speakers will provide an overview of overview of valuation concepts, valuation reports, and defending valuations before the IRS. 

Presenters: John W. Hackney and Christopher A. Steele

ID. Protecting Preservation: The Battle Continues Over Conservation Easements

The charitable contribution of a perpetual conservation easement should be broadly construed to encourage that policy-based charity.  Yet, the IRS regularly – and the courts sometimes – assert hypothetical excuses for disallowing the irreversible contributions.  We will focus on those technicalities and the best defense of Mother Nature.

Presenters: David D. Aughtry and Courtney H. Moore

Workshop Group II

IIE. Liability for All Employers: Tax and Fair Labor Standards Act Implications in the Workplace.

Worker classification and wage and hour issues continue to bedevil businesses of all sizes.  The speakers will examine risks posed by oversight currently underway by the Department of Labor, the IRS, the Texas Workforce Commission, and workers themselves, and will discuss practical approaches to reducing and eliminating the risks.

Presenters: Annette A. Idalski and F. Beau Howard

IIF. Captive Insurance Companies: The Do’s, Don’ts, and Maybe’s

Captive insurance companies have moved into the middle market, and closely held businesses have learned that captive insurance companies can provide significant insurance benefits and cost savings.  Benefits from better risk management drive the business decision to implement a captive insurance company, but Congress also provides a tax incentive encouraging the use of well-designed small captives.  Still, the IRS views many captive arrangements skeptically.  We will provide an overview of how captives should operate from an insurance and tax standpoint, the pros and cons of using captives, and recent court cases discussing captive insurance companies.

Presenters: J. Scot Kirkpatrick and Patrick McCann, Jr.

IIG. Supercharging Your Estate Planning with Asset Protection

This presentation covers key concepts and planning options that can greatly enhance asset protection as part of your estate planning, including essential trust-design features, trustee powers, trust decanting provisions, inter-vivos QTIP trusts, tax-exempt retirement asset trust planning, joint property agreements, and Medicaid nursing home planning (this item especially for your parents).  

Presenters: James M. Kane and Karen Kurtz Havey

IIH. International Tax Compliance and Disputes: The IRS Is Just Getting Started

In this modern era, nearly all taxpayers touch some international aspects, and the IRS is well aware of this. After more than five years of voluntary disclosure projects, the IRS is just getting started. The IRS now receives more data than ever about international activities and assets thanks to non-prosecution agreements with dozens of foreign banks, compliance with FATCA by foreign financial institutions, numerous inter-governmental agreements, mandatory e-filing of FBARs, computerized cross-checking of foreign assets disclosed on Form 8938, audits triggered by automatic-penalty programs for late Forms 5471 and 5472, new filing requirements for all owners of Passive Foreign Investment Companies, whistleblowers seeking large rewards, and data-mining from hundreds of thousands of voluntary disclosure participants. The IRS has expanded its Large Business and International division, too. This presentation helps tax practitioners understand the evolving international tax rules and issues, so that they can ask the right questions and avoid potential problems, both for their clients and themselves.

Presenter: Hale E. Shepard and Barclay R. Taylor