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New York State Renews the Three-Year Clawback for Gifts

New York State Renews the Three-Year Clawback for Gifts

Generally, Federal estate and gift taxes are imposed on a person’s right to transfer property to another person during life or upon death.  State rules may differ from the Federal regime, imposing either an estate tax, inheritance tax, or gift tax or some combination of these taxes.  New York State limits its taxation to an estate tax on the transfer of property at the time of death.  There is no gift or inheritance tax.  But, as of April 1, 2014, gifts made by a N.Y. resident between April 1, 2014, and December 31, 2018, were clawed back into the taxable estate if the gifts were made within three years of death.  The clawback has been extended to cover gifts made through December 31, 2025.  Rusudan Shervashidze and Nina Krauthamer explain.

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New York State Says No to Annual Pied-A-Terre Tax, Yes to Increased Real Estate Transfer Taxes

New York State Says No to Annual Pied-A-Terre Tax, Yes to Increased Real Estate Transfer Taxes

As part of New York State’s annual budget process, law makers proposed an annual pied-à-terre tax on homes worth $5 million or more that do not serve as the buyer’s primary residence.  At the last minute, the tax was dropped and replaced by a 0.25 percentage point increase to the real estate transfer tax on sellers and a new graduated mansion tax, a special transfer tax imposed on purchasers.  Nina Krauthamer addresses the ins and outs of both taxes.

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New York Resisting S.A.L.T. Cap Under Federal Tax Reform

New York Resisting S.A.L.T. Cap Under Federal Tax Reform

When the T.C.J.A. capped the deduction for state and local income and property taxes at $10,000 – more tax can be paid, but only $10,000 can be deducted – state governments did not take the provision lightly.  One proposal that has gained traction in Albany and other state capitals involves creating charitable funds that would raise voluntary capital for specific governmental purposes.  The goal is for taxpayers to claim the charitable contributions as a deduction for Federal tax purposes and, at the same time, benefitting from a substantial credit against their state income tax liabilities.  Another, less contentious proposal would utilize employer-side payroll taxes to offer employees a credit against state and local taxes.  Nina Krauthamer, Elizabeth V. Zanet, and Sheryl Shah assess the viability of these proposals and the likely impact of tax reform on New York State.  Opinions are not consistent.  Stay tuned.

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Art and the Estate Part II – Nonresidents

Art and the Estate Part II – Nonresidents

Foreign persons owning artwork physically located in the U.S. must be mindful of special income, estate, and gift taxes associated with that ownership.   In the second of a series, Rusudan Shervashidze and Nina Krauthamer look at issues such as use tax, which is the U.S. equivalent of a reverse charge of V.A.T., estate tax, and gift tax.

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New Developments in the World of Reverse Like-Kind Exchanges

New Developments in the World of Reverse Like-Kind Exchanges

Tax planners to New York City real estate families understand that real estate should never be sold.  Rather, it should be exchanged in a tax-free, like-kind exchange.  The exchange can be bifurcated into two independent transactions – one a purchase and the other a sale – without affecting tax-free treatment, provided certain well identified rules are followed.  Moreover, the replacement can be acquired before the sale of an existing parcel is effected.  In a recent advisory opinion affecting property in New York State, the Department of Taxation and Finance issued a taxpayer-friendly advisory opinion involving real estate transfer tax exposure in a reverse like-kind exchange.  Rusudan Shervashidze and Nina Krauthamer explain the ruling. 

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Contract Manufacturing in a US-Controlled Group

First published by the Canadian Tax Foundation in (2016) 24:7 Canadian Tax Highlights.

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Corporate Matters: Anatomy of a Limited Liability Company Agreement – Part I

Simon H. Prisk and Nina Krauthamer begin a series on the reasons why a carefully crafted L.L.C. agreement is important in a joint venture.  Commonly referred to as an operating agreement, this governance tool addresses the purpose, management, and overall operation of an L.L.C. and the obligations of members to make capital contributions.

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Corporate Matters: If I Can Make it There, I Can Make It...

We have recently been receiving instructions from a variety of European clients looking to open either an office or retail location in New York. These clients are looking for advice across a range of topics: from location and leases to signage and insurance. In this month’s “Corporate Matters,” Simon H. Prisk addresses typical start-up legal needs of foreign clients expanding retail business to the U.S.

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Corporate Matters: Are You Doing Business in New York?

Clients with entities formed in a state other than New York often ask if they should seek authority to transact business in New York. Typically, the client is concerned that operations in New York exist and a fear that often inhibits a company from pursuing registration is the expectation that registration brings with it New York State and New York City tax obligations. Simon H. Prisk reflects: The answer to these questions is not as clear cut as one might think.

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The US Net Investment Income Tax

First published by the Canadian Tax Foundation in (2015) 23:6 Canadian Tax Highlights.

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Nice Work If You Can Get It: A New Yorker's Guide to Change of Domicile

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New York State has been known to question individuals who leave the state, easily identifiable as prior New York residents who file Form IT-203, Nonresident and PartYear Resident Income Tax Returns. Often, the New York State Division of Taxation (the “Division of Tax”) will argue that the taxpayer has not established sufficient evidence to relinquish New York domicile. New York places a high standard on redomiciliation: “The taxpayer must prove his subjective intent based upon the objective manifestation of that intent displayed through his conduct,” and it is always challenging for the taxpayer to show subjective intent. Therefore, it was welcome news when Judge Herbert M. Friedman Jr., an Administrative Law Judge, in Albany, New York recently ruled in favor of the taxpayer Irenee D. May.

THE MATTER OF IRENEE D. MAY

Mr. May moved to New York State and acquired a home in Harrison, New York (the “Harrison House”), where he resided with his wife and two children. He worked for JP Morgan in New York City for almost 20 years. Mr. May was terminated from his job effective January 2005. Shortly after, Mr. May obtained a position in London, working for the Royal Bank of Scotland. Mr. and Mrs. May made plans for the family to move to London with their children. They rented an apartment in London for the whole family, including their nanny. The lease was for one year; the eventual goal of the family was to sell Harrison House and purchase a home in London.

Subsequently, the children were not accepted to the desired London schools; therefore, Mrs. May returned with the children to Harrison allowing them to continue attending their previous school in Greenwich, C.T. Mr. May’s daughter briefly attended school in London but later returned to Harrison to live with her mother and brother.

Corporate Matters: Delaware or New York L.L.C.?

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When a client is considering commencing business operations in New York, we are often asked whether it is preferable to form a limited liability company (“L.L.C.”) in New York or in Delaware. As we have mentioned in a previous issues, Delaware is generally the preferred jurisdiction for incorporation and the jurisdiction we typically recommend.

We thought it might be helpful to set out a short summary of issues that one will encounter in choosing between a New York or a Delaware L.L.C. and the relevant advantages and disadvantages of using either state.

Filing Fees

The fee for filing the articles of organization for a New York L.L.C. is $200, while the fee for filing a certificate of formation in Delaware is only $90.00. However, if the Delaware L.L.C. intends to conduct business in New York, it must file an application of authority for a foreign limited liability company, accompanied with a certificate of good standing from Delaware.

The determination of whether the Delaware L.L.C. is conducting business in New York is largely fact specific. The filing fee for the application for authority is $250, and the Delaware fee for a certificate of good standing can range from $50 (for a short form certificate) to $175 (for a long form certificate).

New York Enacts Major Corporate Taxation Reforms

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New York enacted major corporate tax reforms on March 31, 2014 when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the final New York State budget legislation for Fiscal Year 2014-2015. Generally, the provisions are effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015. The new law changes do not automatically affect New York City taxes; conformity by New York City will require additional legislation. Significant changes are outlined below:

NEW NEXUS STANDARD

Historically, New York State taxed out-of-state corporations that had a physical nexus with the state, although physical nexus could be indirect or attenuated. The reform abandons the concept of physical nexus and adopts a new economic standard based on an annual dollar threshold of receipts derived from the state. By doing so New York significantly expands the number of corporations that will be subject to tax in the state. Corporations will now be taxable in New York for purposes of the corporation franchise tax and the metropolitan transportation business tax (“M.T.A.”) surcharge if they have $1 million or more of receipts from activity in New York. Furthermore, a corporation that is part of a combined reporting group and has receipts derived from New York of less than $1 million but more than $10,000 satisfies the threshold requirement if the New York receipts of all group members who individually exceed $10,000 equal $1 million or more in the aggregate.

FOREIGN (NON-U.S.) CORPORATIONS

Foreign (non-U.S.) corporations, referred to as alien corporations, will only be subject to New York tax if they are considered as U.S. domestic corporations under Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) §7701 or have effectively connected income under I.R.C. §882 for the tax year. This may have the effect of reducing the tax base of those foreign corporations that are subject to New York tax.

New York State Makes Major Changes to Estate and Gift Tax Law

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New Exclusion Amount: Prior to April 1, 2014, an estate was required to file a New York State estate tax return if the total of the federal gross estate plus the federal adjusted taxable gifts and specific exemption exceeded $1 million (the “basic exclusion amount”) and the individual was either: (i) a resident of the state at the time of death or (ii) a resident or citizen of the U.S. at the time of death but not a resident of the state, whose estate includes real or tangible personal property located in the state. (Other rules apply to individuals who were not residents or citizens of the U.S., but who died owning real or tangible personal property located in the state.)

Recent N.Y.S. legislation has increased the basic exclusion amount as follows:

  • For individuals dying on or after April 1, 2014 and before April 1, 2015 - $2,062,500
  • For individuals dying on or after April 1, 2015 and before April 1, 2016 - $3,125,000
  • For individuals dying on or after April 1, 2016 and before April 1, 2017 - $4,187,500
  • For individuals dying on or after April 1, 2017 and before January 1, 2019 - $5,250,000

After January 1, 2019, the basic exclusion amount will be indexed for inflation from 2010, which should link the state exclusion amount to the federal amount.

In the Matter of John Gaied - New York State's Highest Court Pushes Back New York Taxing Authorities

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New York State will tax as a “resident” of New York: a domiciliary of the State and a person treated as a “statutory resident.” A domiciliary is generally a person whose permanent and primary home is located in New York. A statutory resident is a person who is not a domiciliary, but maintains a permanent place of abode in this state and spends in the aggregate more than 183 days of the taxable year in New York. In other words, to be a statutory resident for New York tax purposes, the person must be present in New York for more than 183 days (in the aggregate) AND maintain a permanent place of abode in New York.

New York’s highest court was asked to determine what it means to “maintain” a permanent place of abode in New York. The New York State taxing authority’s position is that a person can have a permanent place of abode, which he or she does not necessarily have to own or lease, if the person can stay there whenever he or she wants, even if he or she stays there occasionally or not at all. Special rules apply to corporate apartments, college students, and the military.

New York Estate Tax on Real & Intangible Property - When Intangibles Become Tangible

Published by the American Bar Association in the Real Property Trust & Estate eReport, February 2013.

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