New Estate Tax Rules May Face Opposition from Taxpayers and Their Advisors

The IRS may be heading for a fight with taxpayers as a result of proposed regulations which are meant to limit certain estate and gift tax planning strategies.

The regulations (REG-163-113-02) were issued on August 2nd, and they place restrictions on the use of “valuation discounts” which have the effect of lowering the overall value of assets in family-owned businesses. As a result, the decedent’s estate’s value, and therefore the gift tax liability, are reduced at the time of death. The way the IRS achieves their goal is by disregarding the limitations that allowed taxpayers to use such discounts before.

Principal at Pioneer Wealth Partners’ estate advisory group, Jonathan Blattmachr, foresees that, in terms of authority, the IRS and the Treasury department “will be ‘viciously’ attacked by taxpayers and their advisors.”

Yet the Tax Court could uphold the new regulations. The deference doctrine that was established 30 years ago by the Supreme Court decision of Chevron USA Inc versus Natural Res. Def. Council could be the precedent for upholding the regulations.

Blattmachr added that as far as the elimination of valuation discounts, the proposed regulations “would seem to eliminate minority (or lack of control) discounts for all family ‘controlled’ entities including active businesses.”

Amelia Jacobs

About Amelia Jacobs

Amelia Jacobs began her career in business following a surprisingly successful trip to China. Having visited the region as a tourist, she returned to America as an import-exporter. Today, Jacobs runs a thriving import-export company, splitting her time between Chicago and Shanghai. Contact Amelia at amelia[at]businessdistrict.com