As the Boston Red Sox head into the home stretch of this 2017 baseball season, we Red Sox fans – a naturally dour and fretful bunch – worry whether this team is built for success in the upcoming MLB playoffs. After all, a very similar team – to wit, the not-ready-for-prime-time 2016 Red Sox – appeared on the October stage and proceeded to stink out the joint, getting swept 3-0 by the Cleveland Indians while delivering the worst group performance since the movie Waterworld was released. For sheer group ineptitude, the only comparable recent event was watching the Republican Senate try to fix Obamacare. Yeesh.
As a tax lawyer, my professional life has the elements that my grandfather believed were essential to a really good job: indoor work, no heavy lifting.
A rather stunning near–catastrophe almost occurred in the art world recently, and only dumb luck – namely, a casual off-hand remark with a savvy tax adviser – saved the art owner from a huge, self-inflicted tax bill from the Internal Revenue Service. A non-U.S. taxpayer (meaning a non-resident alien in tax parlance) had an extremely valuable painting being displayed in a U.S. museum or gallery and, for a variety of reasons, he wanted to transfer the painting to his spouse, who is also a non-resident alien. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the painting was worth $50 million. Because the gift was from a non-resident alien to his non-citizen spouse, and the property was tangible property located or situated within the United States at the time of the transfer, this transfer would have been subject to tax the U.S. gift tax regime, at a tax rate of up to 40%. WHAAAAATTTTT???!!!
Taxpayer signs a purchase and sale agreement to sell real estate to an unrelated buyer for $2,500,000. Buyer deposits 10% of the purchase price, or $250,000, as an earnest money deposit and as liquidated damages in the event the buyer fails to complete the purchase. The buyer subsequently fails to complete the acquisition, and the deposit is forfeited to the Taxpayer. The real estate in question was held as long-term capital property and not as inventory.
The following is an audited and certified report on the Boston Red Sox covering that portion of the 2016 fiscal baseball year through today’s date.
The Red Sox are unquestionably better – miles and kilometers and even light-years better – than they were during the dismal years of 2014 and 2015, but the question that lingers, like a heavy scent of garlic, is whether this year’s pitching staff, which looks depressingly similar to last year’s pitching staff except at the very beginning (David Price), the middle (where else would you put Drew Pomeranz?) and at the very end (Craig Kimbrel), is really and truly enough improved to make this year’s iteration of the Olde Towne Team a real contender as opposed to a mere pretender. At the moment, the needle is leaning slightly on the pretender side of the cosmic scale, but there remains enough baseball left in this season that a contender could yet emerge from the erratic and distaff patterns that have thus far characterized the Red Sox season.
Topics: Red Sox
The Treasury no doubt felt that it could chalk one up in the win column early in April 2016 when, following its release of a veritable carpet bombing of new regulations designed to blow up inversion transactions, the primary target, Pfizer Inc., chose to wave the white flag and cancel—at least for the time being—its efforts to merge with Allergan PLC.
Once upon a time, the United States federal income tax laws were largely about determining your federal taxable income and then calculating and paying the appropriate amount of income tax. How quaintly old-fashioned that era seems today.
Increasingly, the IRS is interested in much more than just your income taxes (although you still need to pay your taxes, too). These days, the IRS is also busy chasing a wide range of information, which is required to be reported timely on a remarkable – and often redundant – array of IRS returns. Typically, these returns demand stunningly detailed information covering a broad array of business and personal activities and assets.
Governor Charlie Baker wants to give the Massachusetts corporate income tax a makeover of Lady Gaga-like proportions: Baker wants to extend the “single sales factor" apportionment regime, which currently applies only to manufacturers and mutual fund service corporations, so that it applies to all Massachusetts corporations. This would be a major boost to a variety of local companies, notably big retailers such as TJX and Staples.
We live in the Era of the Limited Liability Company (LLC).
The LLC has become the dominant business vehicle of the early 21st Century: It is the “must use” vehicle for all real estate transactions, and an increasingly popular choice for operating a commercial business as well.
How did this come to pass? The short answer is that the LLC is the most flexible business vehicle available. It is not the perfect choice for every situation, but it is the best choice for a majority of situations these days, and its use is likely to continue to burgeon for several reasons, all of which are most easily explained using automotive vehicular metaphors.
The Boston Red Sox are in a strange place these days – and I am not referring to last place in the America League East, which is a place they have occupied so consistently of late that it has practically become their postal mailing address.
No, I am referring to the fact that they have the 3rd highest payroll in baseball, and yet, quixotically, are a team animated and energized by very young players. During early July when the Red Sox actually played pretty decently (winning four straight series and compiling a 9–4 record) the first three hitters at the top of the lineup were Mookie Betts (age 22), Brock Holt (age 27), and Xander Bogearts(age 22); throw in catcher Blake Swihart (age 23), who was batting ninth during part of that winning streak, and the Red Sox were showcasing impressive and event breathtaking young talent exactly where you want it – up the middle, at catcher, second base, shortstop and centerfield.