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 »

Is the IRS Audit in Everything Everywhere All at Once Accurate?

Audits, In the News, IRS, Tax Collection Issues, Taxes, Taxes in the News

Everything Everywhere All at Once won seven Oscars at the 95th Academy Awards including for Best Picture. The movie begins with the havoc unleashed by IRS Agent Deirdre Beaubeirdra (Jamie Lee Curtis won Best Supporting Actress), when she audits the laundromat of Evelyn & Waymond Wang (Michelle Yeoh won Best Actress and Ke Huy Kwan won Best Supporting Actor. But are the audit scenes realistic? Short answer: yes, but mostly no. Here’s how the movie differs from a real-life IRS audit. Read more »

Section 1031 Exchanges to Defer Capital Gains Tax


Rising real estate prices create tax problems for owners selling property. While it’s great to sell at high prices, it’s also discouraging to pay big capital gains taxes on the proceeds. That “gain” – the difference between sales proceeds and the adjusted basis in the property (the amount paid for it originally) can be deferred with Section 1031 exchanges. But the rules are complex. Read more>>