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Nelson v. Commissioner – The Next Chapter in Protective/Defined Value Gift and Sale Clauses - A devastating loss for the Taxpayer



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Nelson V. Commissioner is the most important development in defined value gifts and sales since the landmark Wandry case.

In this 22 page tax Tax Court memorandum opinion, issued on June 10, 2020, Judge Pugh ruled in favor of the IRS on an attempted defined value gift and a defined value sale, holding that the donors transferred percentage interests instead of specific dollar amounts, distinguishing Wandry. The court also determined the value of the percentage gift and the percentage sale, which resulted in a gift tax deficiency for both transactions. The case is appealable to the Fifth Circuit.

This 90 minute program will cover defined value transfers from soup to nuts. Paul and Bob will cover all of the important cases and rulings involving defined value transfers beginning with the Fourth Circuit’s Procter decision and going up to the present with the Wandry  and Nelson decisions. In particular, the class will cover:

  • Nelson - O, those ten missing words!!!
  • Understanding Nelson and its lessons
  • IRS audits, appeals and Tax Court litigation
  • Creating a “Hazard of Litigation”
  • What experts are virtually certain won’t work.
  • What Paul and Bob believe will work.
  • What Paul and Bob believe might work.
  • Drafting Wandry clause for sales and gifts
  • Combining Wandry clauses with trust overflow provisions to LPA trusts, GRATs, charities and marital deduction trusts
  • Importance of proper gift tax reporting of a defined value transfer
  • Importance of proper income tax returns, protective claims and the Section 1311 to 1314 mitigation provisions
  • Importance of proper financial statements shared with lenders and others
  • Types of defined formula value approaches.
  • Formula allocation clause based on a subsequent agreement of involved parties.
  • Formula allocation clause based on final values as determined for gift tax purposes.
  • Price adjustment clauses.
  • Impact of Belk holding (4th Cir. 2014).
  • Defined value clauses in the IRS Priority Guidance Plan.
  • Exercising substitution powers using a defined value clause.
  • Traps to avoid and much more.


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Robert S. Keebler, CPA/PFS, MST, AEP (Distinguished) is a partner with Keebler & Associates, LLP and is a 2007 recipient of the prestigious Accredited Estate Planners (Distinguished) award from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. He has been named by CPA Magazine as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Practitioners in the United States and one of the Top 40 Tax Advisors to Know During a Recession. Mr. Keebler is the past Editor-in-Chief of CCH's magazine, Journal of Retirement Planning, and a member of CCH's Financial and Estate Planning Advisory Board. His practice includes family wealth transfer and preservation planning, charitable giving, retirement distribution planning, and estate administration. Mr. Keebler frequently represents clients before the National Office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the private letter ruling process and in estate, gift and income tax examinations and appeals. In the past 20 years, he has received over 250 favorable private letter rulings including several key rulings of """"first impression."""" Mr. Keebler is nationally recognized as an expert in estate and retirement planning and works collaboratively with other experts on academic reviews and papers, and client matters. Mr. Keebler is the author of over 75 articles and columns and editor, author, or co-author of many books and treatises on wealth transfer and taxation, including the Warren, Gorham & Lamont of RIA treatise Esperti, Peterson and Keebler/Irrevocable Trusts: Analysis with Forms. Mr. Keebler is the Chair of the AICPA's Advanced Estate Planning Conference. He is a featured columnist for CCH's Taxes Magazine - """"Family Tax Planning Forum,"""" Bob is also a contributing author to the American Bar Association's The ABA Practical Guide to Estate Planning. Robert.Keebler@KeeblerandAssociates.com


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