Off to work we go.
Photo credit: Visit Pensacola / visitpensacola.com
Many envision a board-certified tax attorney preparing tax returns. I do not prepare tax returns. OK, so what do I do?
In this space, I will periodically set out new snippets of projects I am currently engaged in to give you insight into the diversity and complexity of the issues and projects on my desk at any one time.
Welcome to my High ‘O, High ‘O, Off to Work We Go page.
This US citizen with challenging health issues packed up her wealth and moved to a Latin American country to restart a better life after she suffered personal devastation from Hurricane Katrina.
She established the US equivalent of Revocable Living Trust in her new country of residence as part of his estate planning prior to her death with the assistance of legal counsel in her new home town. She died 6 months later.
The IRS asserted cumulative penalties over multiple tax years in the amount of approximately $750,000 plus interest for her failure to report the transfer of assets to the foreign “trust” on Form 3520 as required by law.
The case is currently pending within the IRS Appeals Office awaiting resolution by a Collection Due Process Hearing.
The new owner of a several hundred-acre parcel of land desires to make a vast majority of it into a working tree farm.
While the trees grow, he wants to create a working farm operation which would produce artisanal vegetable, honey and other food products for sale at wholesale. The operation would be manned, in part, by volunteers whose selected charities would benefit monetarily or otherwise in some manner.
A smaller portion of the property may be developed into a private destination for athletic training fields for outdoor sports with overnight lodging and food services for participating athletes and potentially their coaches and families.
I am structuring multiple entities, leases, phased in building plans, equipment purchases and agreements for distribution networks, charity benefactors, and athletic training partners to maximize tax benefits and assure financial and operational stability.
The interesting note about this project is that it is not a multi-generational project and involves no family succession plans. I have been instructed to plan that the entire property and its then existing operations will be sold as a whole or parts when the trees are gown and harvested.
The homeowner’s associations of residential subdivisions are traditionally free-standing entities taxed as corporations for US tax purposes. The tax implications of a homeowner’s association are dependent upon the classification division of its exempt and non-exempt income and certain applicable income and expenses ratios.
This multi-phase development consists of single family and multi-family dwelling units with multiple homeowner’s associations which will work in concert to administer and maintain various common area amenities. One of the major amenities will be new lakes and ponds built for residents to participate in leisure water sports. There are no lakes or ponds anywhere on the property currently.
This developer believes the amenities, if extremely well-maintained by the homeowner’s association in phase one, will produce the desired high-end residential community atmosphere that will propel excellent and easy sales in the remaining development phases.
The home owner’s association will need monies over and above the reasonably affordable association dues to be paid by the new residents to achieve the amenity maintenance goal. The most available commodity to produce income will be the dirt removed from the land to build the lakes and ponds.
My task is to structure a plan where the excavation of the dirt benefits both the developer and homeowner’s association from both a tax and financial prospective.
Currently winding up the formal administration of an estate that was initially assessed as being a straight forward and uncomplicated project based upon what the selected personal representative knew at the time.
Due diligence revealed the estate had over 30 potential creditors. Identity theft was highly suspected. A substantial and unexpected amount of effort over several months was spent vetting each of the creditors using the claims procedure specified by Florida law and its probate code.