Burr Tax Alert: 2017 Year-End Tax Planning in Light of Tax Reform

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What a week for U.S. tax law! Last Friday, three days before the deadline he had set for himself and Congress, President Donald Trump put his signature to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ("TCJA" or the "Act"), which enacts the tax reform crafted and passed by the House and the Senate along party lines.

While a few of the new tax provisions became law as soon as the President signed the Act (the "date of enactment"), by far the majority of its provisions do not become effective until January 1, 2018. For that reason, by far the majority of inquiries we receive regarding the new tax law ask what action(s) can our clients take before the New Year in order to minimize their federal tax obligations for both 2017 and 2018. Accordingly the first priority clients express to us is to make sure they understand what action(s) they should consider taking before January 1, 2018. The second priority our clients express to us is to question the new law's provisions which will impact them in 2018 and beyond.

That approach to setting priorities in addressing issues arising out of the TCJA makes a lot of sense to us too, especially since taxpayers now have less than four (4) days, and less than two (2) business days, to take affirmative action for 2017 tax planning or lose many planning options altogether. The importance of the timing of 2017 planning is even more important for our clients who would prefer enjoy this time watching College Football Playoffs rather than spend that time reaching for deductions and tax planning strategies which may or may not ultimately withstand IRS scrutiny.

Therefore, this Burr Alert is designed to identify and focus on those tax planning strategies we believe have some validity and viability if implemented before January 1st; i.e., before the new provisions of the TCJA become effective. We will then begin to release a series of Burr Alerts during January which will detail the tax changes which the TCJA is bringing to our clients in different industries, to our clients using different legal/tax structures (for tax planning) and to our clients closely tied to a special type of taxation (e.g., international tax and estate/gift tax).

Download the full alert, "Burr Tax Alert: 2017 Year-End Tax Planning in Light of Tax Reform" written by James M. McCarten.

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