Summer 2022

Letter from the Chair

As I write this letter, summer is in full swing, and I am astonished that my term as Chair of the Taxation Section for the 2021-2022 fiscal year is nearly complete. This year has been a year of transition as COVID begins to (but not quite) loosen its grip and the Tax Section attempts to strike the difficult balance between the safe and convenient access that virtual program offerings provide and the personal connection and networking benefits provided by traditional in-person programming. This is difficult balance to strike. Personally, I love the ability to access and participate in a Tax Section event from literally anywhere in the world, but also truly miss connecting with friends and colleagues at our in-person events. Read More

Committee Reports

On April 28, 2022, the Employee Benefits Committee met virtually for “Coffee and Roundtable Discussion of Retirement Plan Hot Topics.” Read More

Why State Optional Community Property Statutes Can Be Easily Challenged by the IRS


By Neal Nusholtz

Five common law states have optional community property statutes which allow surviving spouses to save capital gains taxes by electing community property treatment. The Internal Revenue Service (“the IRS”) has specifically refrained from commenting on the validity of optional community property statutes in its 2016 and 2020 Publication 555 on Community Property. All available legal authorities on the validity of optional community property statutes under federal tax law do not provide a sufficient basis for drafters of estate plans (or clients who elect community property status) to conclude that a state law community property election will survive a challenge by the IRS. Thousands of people in those five states could be affected by that uncertainty.

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A Survey of Current Law and Recent Developments in the Acquisition, Use, and Disposition of “Virtual

shifting.jpgBy Wayne D. Roberts and Erin M. Haney

One of the most significant developments with respect to the convergence of technology and economics in recent years is the increased prevalence of virtual currencies (e.g., cryptocurrencies), non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”), and “digital assets.” Depending on the definition consulted and the context in which the term is used, the term “digital assets” may or may not be interpreted broadly enough to include certain virtual currencies and NFTs. Read More

Addressing Potential Inequities for the Use of Private Hold Time Services Used to “Cut the Line” at

shifting.jpgBy Katherine Wheeler

Imagine this, you’re waiting in line for the best barbecue that Lansing has to offer. You know that this barbecue restaurant only makes a certain amount of brisket each day, and if you can just reach the front of the line before they run out, you’ll be able to get some. As you’re standing there, one person in line in front of you suddenly holds the line and lets fifty of their friends cut in front of you. They justify this by saying that their fifty friends paid them to cut the line. When you get to the front of the line, the restaurant is closed, and the brisket is gone. Read More

In Recognition of the 32nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

shifting.jpgBy Daniel S. Elkus

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) on the South Lawn of the White House. During his remarks, President Bush stated: “I now lift my pen to sign this Americans with Disabilities Act and say: Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” Read More

IRS Allows Conservation Easement Donors to Add ADA Accessibility Ramp to Certified Historic Structur

By Daniel S. Elkus

In an Advice Memorandum released March 12, 2021 (“AM 2021-001”), the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) released guidance that further realizes President George H. W. Bush’s vision of inclusiveness under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), as expressed above, by advising that a taxpayer could add an accessibility ramp to a Certified Historic Structure (“CHS”) in order for the CHS to comply with the ADA without jeopardizing a charitable contribution for the donation of a façade easement on the CHS. Read More