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Vol. 36 No. 4 - Summer 2017


From the Chair-Elect


Leading the Tax Section into the Future

I undoubtedly hold the record in the history of the Tax Section for taking the longest time to get from the Chair-Elect to Chair position: eight years, four months, and three days. But who’s counting? I, however, have several broad goals on which I hope to focus during the year, with the assistance of the strong leadership team of Committee Chairs, Council Vice-Chairs, and Directors joining me on this adventure.

People in Tax

Practice Points


Can I Take a Theft Loss? The Unwitting Individual Taxpayer’s Dilemma

When most people receive an e-mail from a Nigerian prince who is in need of assistance with his inheritance, they either delete the e-mail without fully reading it or read it, chuckle, and then delete it. But many taxpayers still fall victim to con artists, internet fraud, and a panoply of other schemes. What adds insult to injury for so many of these taxpayers is that, unlike a business, they cannot simply deduct losses for the events described above.


State Corporate Income Tax Rules for Sourcing of Revenue for Law Firms

Historically, law firms subject to state corporate income taxes generally sourced receipts from sales of legal services by using a cost-of-performance method. Law firms with a taxable presence in multiple states may be impacted, however, by the growing trend of sourcing service revenue using the market-based sourcing method.

At Court


The Kings River Captive Insurance Case

A petition was recently filed in U.S. Tax Court by Kings River Commodities, LLC (Kings River) challenging the denial of deductions related to insurance premiums, among other items. The premiums were paid to an insurance company that made an election to be taxed on its investment income (as opposed to all of its taxable income) under Section 831(b) (referred to as a “micro-captive” by the Service in its discussion of 2017 abusive tax shelters).


Can the Failure to Obtain a “Should” Tax Opinion from External Attorneys Invalidate a Merger?

Even though it discusses corporate governance principles in its background, The Williams Cos., Inc. v. Energy Transfer Equity, LP, case is an important federal income tax ruling. Namely, the case considers whether a “should” tax opinion under section 721 could be issued supporting tax-free treatment of the transfer of the Williams Cos., Inc. (Williams) assets to Energy Transfer Equity, LP (ETE) for its Class E partnership units.

Pro Bono Matters


Tribute to Chief Special Trial Judge Peter Panuthos

Special Trial Judge Peter Panuthos is stepping down as Chief Special Trial Judge effective September 1, 2017. While Judge Panuthos will remain as a Special Trial Judge, a position he has held for 34 years, it is fitting that we take this opportunity to pay tribute to all that he has done for the United States Tax Court, low income taxpayer clinics (LITCs), and pro se petitioners.


Shining a Light on the PATH

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act), enacted on December 18, 2015, among other provisions requires many millions of taxpayers to renew their Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) over the next several years. Since 1996, the Service has issued more than 21 million ITINs, although just over 5 million are currently being used on tax returns. ITINs do not authorize work and are only issued to individuals with a tax filing obligation.

In the Stacks

Young Lawyers Corner

Tax Bits

News & Announcements

Events & Promotions

Sponsor Acknowledgements

About ABA Tax Times

ABA Tax Times (ISSN 2381-5868) (formerly 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. Questions regarding ABA Tax Times can be sent to: [email protected].

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