The 2020 election is almost upon us. The past has taught us that trying to predict the results of an election are futile at best. Still, estate planning clients need timely counsel as to how the election may impact their financial futures. Estate planning attorneys strive to help clients stay informed and suggest opportunities for clients to respond to changes. While we do not know exactly what the future holds, we do have strong clues as to what the tax laws may look like if the balance of power shifts in 2021 from Republican to Democrat hands.
A client’s intentions in preparing an estate plan are as unique as that individual. Even so, some of the most common reasons for estate planning include the desire to
Real property used in a taxpayer’s trade or business is excluded from the IRS’s definition of a capital asset, enabling taxpayers to take advantage of the generally more beneficial ordinary loss deduction rather than the capital loss deduction upon its sale. As the petitioners discovered in Keefe v. Commissioner, 2020 WL 4032469 (2d Cir. July 17, 2020), however, the treatment of a sale of real estate as a sale of business property rather than a sale of a capital asset needs to be backed up by the facts, and an incorrect characterization on a tax return can be quite expensive.