The “Discovery Rule” in Probate Disputes

There are some strict deadlines for contesting a will in Texas. The will contest generally has to be filed within two years of the time the will is admitted to probate. What happens if one of the parties hides the existence of the will and secretly probates the will? What if they make statements to…Continue readingThe “Discovery Rule” in Probate Disputes

Tax on Virtual Currency Received for Microtasks

Our Federal income tax laws take a broad view of what counts as income and gain. The tax law then imposes a ridged framework for classifying and computing tax on income or gain. By casting the net wide, the tax law is able to capture just about every type of transaction that one could dream…Continue…Continue readingTax on Virtual Currency Received for Microtasks

Signing a Will With a Rubber Stamp

Will have to be executed with the proper legal formalities. This includes having the terms of the will be in writing and signed by the decedent. There have been a number of disputes as to what counts as a writing and what counts as a signature. The courts have developed a body of case law…Continue readingSigning a Will With a Rubber Stamp

Broken Promise to Leave Property to Heir

What happens if someone makes a promise to leave property to another person in their will, but then they update their estate plan and fail to provide the property as promised? Can the person who expected to receive the property recover from the property from the probate estate? If so, what if the promise was…Continue readingBroken Promise to Leave Property to Heir

Illness as a Defense to Late Filing Penalties

Will the IRS penalize you if you are unable to file your tax return on time due to the burden of caring for a loved one with COVID? The IRS has not provided penalty relief for taxpayers impacted by COVID-19. The existing penalty relief rules may provide a remedy for some taxpayers. These rules do…Continue readingIllness as a Defense to Late Filing Penalties

Adult Child’s Rights to Parent’s House

Living arrangements can pose a number of problems when an older family member is placed in a home or they die. The family members have to decide what to do with the property. These issues often result in probate litigation after the parent dies. But what about when the parent is alive, but incapacitated? If…Continue readingAdult Child’s Rights to Parent’s House

What is a Rental Activity?

The ability to generate current year tax losses is a strong incentive for high-income taxpayers to own real estate. Real estate often produces tax losses, but not economic losses. This happens because the current operating expenses plus tax depreciation result in a current year loss. At the same time, the property likely increased in value…Continue readingWhat is a Rental Activity?

Do Divorce Payments Increase Tax Basis in Business

Our Federal income tax laws often build upon the presumption that seemingly adverse parties are actually adverse. Our tax laws do not always account for instances where the parties are actively working in concert to reduce the IRS’s cut. Transfers and payments made in relation to divorce are an example. With our tax laws, it…Continue readingDo Divorce Payments Increase Tax Basis in Business

Does an IRS Audit Waive a Defect in Tax Return?

When it comes to technicalities in the tax law, the failure to comply with some technicalities can be overcome. Others cannot. As a general rule, the courts evaluate tax disputes involving technicalities based on the policy underlying the technicality versus fairness for requiring strict compliance. If the policy for the technicality is important, the court…Continue readingDoes an IRS Audit Waive a Defect in Tax Return?

When is Rental Real Estate a Business?

Our tax laws are not perfect. There are grey areas. Most of these grey areas are of little consequence as they do not have a significant impact on the amount of tax that is due. There are other grey areas that can significantly impact the amount of tax due. These tax disputes are frequently litigated.…Continue readingWhen is Rental Real Estate a Business?