In many cases California’s property tax rules automatically penalize insufficiently counseled individuals who inherit interests in real estate-owning legal entities from a family member upon their death. To avoid this penalty, recipients of these interests need to ensure that Form BOE 100-B is filed within 90 days of their family member’s death, a task few are prepared to undertake at that time.

Individuals who acquire real estate often do so using legal entities they control, such as corporations, LLCs, or partnerships to protect themselves from any personal liability that could arise with respect to the real estate.

California’s property tax rules require that individuals who hold interests in real estate-owning legal entities notify the Board of Equalization (“BOE”) when they transfer interests in those legal entities in two situations:

Continue Reading The BOE Death Trap: Avoid Property Tax Penalties on the Death of a Family Member

The case of Salus Mundi Foundation et al v. Commissioner

Transferee LiabilityOn August 15, 2016, the Tax Court decided in Salus Mundi Foundation et al v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2016-154, that two foundations were liable as transferees for a corporation’s unpaid federal tax liability after another foundation distributed to the foundations the proceeds of the sale of the corporation’s stock.

The history in this case involves a marital trust that initially owned all of the stock in a C corporation called Double-D Ranch.  Later, a portion of the stock was transferred to the Diebold Foundation in New York.  Subsequent to that, the Diebold Foundation in New York sold the stock and distributed the proceeds from the sale of Double-D Ranch stock to three foundations formed by the Diebold children, pursuant to a New York state-approved plan of dissolution.

Continue Reading Transferee Liability: The [Unlikely] Situation that your Nonprofit Receives a Charitable Gift with Expensive Tax Strings Attached

photo-1446482972539-0ed52b3e9520We have all been told at one point or another that we simply “can’t have it all.”  But for owners of recreational or agricultural land who desire to preserve the land, pass it down to their descendants as a legacy property, and achieve substantial tax savings, “(almost) having it all” is a possibility.  Enter, the conservation easement – a valuable tool that can bridge the divide between these often competing interests. Continue Reading Conserve Your Land, Preserve Your Estate: The Conservation Easement as a Land Use, Tax & Estate Planning Tool