IRS Audits a Tax Attorney – Me


What happens when the IRS audits a tax attorney, like me? Most clients don’t know this, but I have personally experienced an IRS audit . So I know all too well the stress that accompanies receiving an Audit Notice from the IRS, and the anxiety of putting together documentation and Read more » 

FTB Amnesty for Syndicated Conservation Easements and Captive Insurance Companies 

CA Franchise Tax Board, CA FTB

California’s FTB is offering amnesty for syndicated conservation easements and captive insurance company tax deductions. Both investments are highly-sophisticated, often-fraudulent tax schemes. I’ve been getting lots of calls recently from taxpayers who invested in one of these for their generous tax write-offs, but who are now under FTB audit. If the FTB finds a syndicated conservation easement or captive insurance company investment is not legitimate, then the taxpayer is subject to a 40 percent penalty, plus a doubling of the interest rate. Unfortunately, many of these transactions are not legitimate Read more » 

Are There Limits to Tax-Deductibility of Fine Art Donations by Artist?


Many thanks to my seatmate on a recent flight who posed this hypothetical question, worthy of a Harvard Law School Professor: if an artist sells her painting for $1 million, can she then paint an identical copy, donate it to a charity, and claim no income for the tax year, on the assumption that the value of the copy is $1 million (because that’s what she sold the original for)? The answer is “no.” Read more » 

California State Bar Certificates of Specialization

Bankruptcy, Taxes

As many of you may know, I hold a Certificate of Specialization in Bankruptcy Law and in a Certificate of Specialization in Tax Law from the State Bar of California. You probably also don’t see many California attorneys advertising this. That’s because fewer than five percent of lawyers in California have taken the exam and continuing legal education courses necessary to obtain this certificate. Read more »

What Happens to California Homes with IRS Liens in Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Procedure, Pre-Bankruptcy Planning, Tax Liens

Many debtors in California file chapter 7 bankruptcy with a home that has an IRS tax lien on it. What happens in these cases? If the IRS has a federal tax lien on real property in California prior to a bankruptcy being filed, then that lien will survive bankruptcy. In other words, debtors cannot use bankruptcy to escape an existing federal tax lien on a California property, despite the fact that California bankruptcy law allows chapter 7 filers to take up to $678,000 in equity in a primary residence through bankruptcy. Read more »

How Long Does A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take in Thousand Oaks?

Asset Protection, Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Procedure, Pre-Bankruptcy Planning

My clients often ask: how long does a Chapter 7 bankruptcy take? The short answer: it depends. It depends on how quickly the client organizes their information and documents; it depends on whether it makes sense to postpone filing to protect some assets that would be otherwise taken; and it depends on the Bankruptcy Trustee. I rarely have a bankruptcy take less than 4 months or longer than 8 months. The average is 5-6 months. Read more »