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Vol. 36 No. 1 - November 2016

Boston Meeting Successes, and More to Come

From the Chair

Boston Meeting Successes, and More to Come

We had a great joint meeting in Boston with the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section at the end of September. There were approximately 1,100 in attendance, and I was inspired by the enthusiasm about the activities of the Tax Section for the coming year. We have a lot of work to do, and we are going to have a good time doing it.

Bitcoin is not the first virtual currency. It has, however, garnered significant attention by being embroiled in several scandals. Through the lense of the Espinoza case, this article examines the tax implications of selling bitcoin.

Are insurance bad faith litigation recoveries taxable? The annoying answer is that it depends. This answer may be a bit less annoying with a brief description of what a bad faith claim may entail. It may be a tort or a contract claim, depending on the facts and the jurisdiction. It may be brought against one’s own insurance carrier, or sometimes, even against someone else’s carrier.

As of June 30, 2016, total U.S. retirement plan assets were $24.5 trillion, more than twice the $11.6 trillion reported for 2000. That is a very large amount of money—significantly larger than the GDP of the United States or China. The largest single component of retirement plan assets is held in IRAs, considerably more than those held in 401(k) plans. In addition to these tax-favored retirement savings, many employers make additional “nonqualified” deferred compensation available to their high-level employees.

Eight of the ten most costly disasters in U.S. history have happened in the last 15 years. Some of these—especially 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina—triggered unprecedented tax relief for casualty losses. Others, such as Hurricane Sandy, led to no additional tax relief whatsoever. The increased likelihood of all casualties, coupled with the escalating costs of major disasters, makes reconsideration of the tax treatment of casualty losses a timely and important issue.

Reflecting on the location of the Section’s recent Joint Fall CLE Meeting in Boston, this article examines Massachusetts’ rich tax history and its impacts on its lower income residents.

This edition of Paths in Tax changes course slightly to address a topic of perennial, albeit muted, concern within the tax bar—emotional health and anxiety management. Our featured member, solo practitioner C. David Anderson, articulates our collective challenge in a new way. He then provides useful advice to mitigate damage that may be done to emotional health in the course of practicing our chosen profession.

Attorneys and students alike will rejoice to discover there is such a thing as a tax book that is agreeable to read. While tax practitioners may find Taxation of Entertainers, Athletes, and Artists overly basic, the rest of us will appreciate its depth and clarity. It boasts the accessibility of a study aid and the straightforwardness of a practice manual.

The move to a digital-only format has allowed ATT to expand the types of materials we publish. One new feature is reviews of books and articles on topics of interest to our members.

Attending an ABA Tax Section meeting can be intimidating for a law student or young lawyer. This article provides a glimpse into the different YLF activities at Tax Section meetings and throughout the year, focusing specifically on YLF panels at the most recent Fall meeting in Boston.

Sing along with Tax Bits to the tune of “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and "You Can’t Take That Away" by George and Ira Gershwin.

Since January 1, 2016, the Section has coordinated the following government submissions, which are available to the public on the Section’s website.

On September 14, 2016, the House Committee on Small Business met to discuss the IRS examination process as it pertains to small businesses. Ms. Jennifer E. Breen, vice chair of the Administrative Practice Committee, represented the Section of Taxation at the hearing.

Named for the late Jack Nolan, a dedicated and respected Tax Section member, the Nolan Fellow distinction is awarded to young lawyers who are actively involved in the Section and have shown leadership qualities.

The Pro Bono Award Committee is pleased to announce that it is currently accepting nominations for the 2017 Janet Spragens Pro Bono Award.

Through the Tax Assistance Public Service (TAPS) endowment fund, the Section of Taxation seeks to provide stable, long-term funding for its tax-related public service programs.

The Tax Lawyer, the nation’s premier, peer-reviewed tax law journal, is published quarterly as a service members of the Tax Section.

Produced in cooperation with the Tax Section and published by ALI-CLE, The Practical Tax Lawyer offers concise, practice-oriented articles to assist lawyers with all aspects of tax law.

ABA Tax Times (ATT) is looking for volunteers to join its ranks as associate editors to assist in writing and acquiring articles for publication.

ABA Tax Section meetings are a great way to get connected, get educated, and get the most from your membership!

Listen at your convenience to high-quality tax law CLE on a variety of topics.

ABA Section of Taxation Meetings are the premier venues for tax practitioners and government guests to connect on the latest developments in tax law and practice.

New editions of the ABA Section of Taxation State & Local Tax Deskbooks are now available!

Did you know that Tax Section members have access to thousands of pages of cutting-edge committee program materials presented at Section of Taxation Meetings?

The Section of Taxation thanks the sponsors and exhibitors of the 2016 Joint Fall CLE Meeting.

Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Catalyst™ delivers tax research framed in an entirely new way, so you see the clarity, color and context you need to get the whole picture of each business tax issue.

Volume 36


August 2017

June 2017

February 2017

November 2016

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ABA Tax Times, November 2016
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ABA Tax Times (ISSN 2381-5868) (formerly the NewsQuarterly) reports on developments pertaining to taxation, Tax Section news and meeting updates, and other information of professional interest to Tax Section members and other readers.

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