Fall 2019

Letter from the Chair

It is my honor to serve as the Chairperson of the Section for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. I am looking forward to working with the Section’s Council and Committees to build upon the solid foundation laid by my predecessors. Read More

Section Committee Reports

In October 2019, Lena Gionnette took over as chair of the Employee Benefits Committee. Lena is an employee benefits attorney in Varnum's Birmingham office. We thank John Arendshorst for his excellent service as past chair of the Committee. Adrean Taylor will serve as vice chair of the Committee. Adrean practices in employee benefits out of Honigman's Detroit office. Read More

Taxation Section Files Amicus Curiae Motion and Brief

By Jackie J. Cook, 2018-2019 Taxation Section Chair

On August 7, 2019, the Taxation Section filed a Motion for Leave to File an Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of TOMRA of North America, along with a copy of the Amicus Curiae Brief, in the sales and use tax case pending before the Michigan Supreme Court regarding the industrial processing exemption, TOMRA of North America, Inc. v. Michigan Department of Treasury. The Michigan Supreme Court granted the Motion and accepted the Brief for filing on August 14, 2019. Read More

Purchase Price Allocation after the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017

Purchase-Price.jpg By Sean H. Cook

The purchase price allocation rules as we know them today have been in place since the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The allocation of purchase price during the acquisition of all of the assets of a trade or business was an issue before 1986, and the TRA 1986 was meant to provide an enforcement mechanism to achieve uniformity amongst all buyers and sellers in transactions. The purchase price allocation rules are located in Section 1060 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Read More

Foreign Trusts: Tax Consequences and Reporting Requirements


By Nicholas E. Papasifakis and Thomas E.F. Fabbri

What is a trust?  A trust is a fiduciary arrangement in which the creator of the trust, the grantor, expresses a desire to give a third party, the trustee, the right to hold title to property or assets for the benefit of a recipient, the beneficiary. Typically, a trust agreement is a written legal document under which the grantor instructs the trustee on exactly: (i) how, when, and for what purpose the trust property is to be utilized or invested; and, further, (ii) how, when, and to whom the trust property is to be distributed.  In short, a trust agreement is the script the trustee must follow in administering the trust property for the benefit of the intended beneficiaries. Read More

Critical Changes to Fiduciary Income Taxes by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act


By Thomas F. Sweeney

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act made many significant changes in the federal tax laws, primarily by reducing federal taxes for many taxpayers (and increasing them for some). The main story with respect to fiduciary income tax, however, is that the changes overall increased or maintained prior levels of taxation. This article will address those changes and their impact on decedent’s estates or non-grantor trusts. Read More

South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.: Part 2


By Taylor Gast, Tom Dillon, Emily Wisniewski, and Amanda J. Dernovshek

This is the second in a two-part series examining the U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. Part One discussed Wayfair and the legal principles underlying the Wayfair dispute. This Part Two considers the decision’s wide-reaching implications in the state of Michigan and beyond. Read More

Law Student Writing Challenge

During the Winter of 2019, the Taxation Section announced its inaugural Law Student Writing Challenge, which was open to full or part-time law students attending an ABA-accredited law school located in the State of Michigan. Students were asked to write a paper analyzing a tax-related issue from one of several categories: (i) federal income taxation; (ii) state and local taxation; (iii) employee benefits; and (iv) estates and trusts and gift taxation. Read More

Join Us for the Annual Tax Conference

May 23, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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