Dawn S. Markowitz

S. Markowitz
Legal Editor,
Trusts & Estates

Dawn S. Markowitz is a legal editor at Trusts & Estates magazine. Prior to working at T&E, she was a legal editor at The National Law Journal and at the Institute for Continuing Legal Education. She was formerly a commercial litigator at Shea & Gould and Ashinoff, Ross & Korff, both in New York. She is licensed to practice law in New York.

Early Retirement Distribution Leads to Additional Tax
In Fields v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2014-48 (March 19, 2014), the Tax Court determined that a petitioner was liable for a 10 percent additional tax pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 72(t)(1), due to an early distribution from her qualified retirement plan.
Pay Up
In United States v. Robert Shriner, et al., Civil Action No. MJG-11-2929 (March 12, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland granted summary judgment in favor of the government to recover unpaid taxes from the estate of Carol Shriner
Antenuptial Agreements and Marital Trusts
In Private Letter Ruling 201410011 (March 7, 2014), a taxpayer asked the Internal Revenue Service to rule on two issues related to a marital trust set up by an antenuptial agreement.
Savings Bonds Interest: Inclusion Issues and Reporting Requirements
In Private Letter Ruling 201409001 (Feb. 28, 2014), the Internal Revenue Service released a decision regarding four issues surrounding savings bonds that were transferred to a trust.
Acts of Self-Dealing and Excess Business Holdings
In Private Letter Ruling 201407021, a private foundation asked the Internal Revenue Service whether a distribution of interest and retention of non-voting units in a limited liability company (LLC) would constitute acts of self-dealing and whether its ownership of non-voting units in the LLC would violate the prohibition against ownership of excess business holdings. The IRS ruled that that there would be no self-dealing and no violation of the prohibition against ownership of excess business holdings.
Meaning of “Executor”
In this CCA, the underlying question was who could waive restrictions or extend the assessment statute expiration date for a decedent’s delinquent income tax returns.
Administrative and Litigation Costs
In Estate of Mildred T. Quidley and Karen Q. Pierce v. Commissioner, Docket No. 7799-10 (Jan. 10, 2014), the Tax Court denied an estate taxpayer’s costs and fees, because it failed to meet one of the requirements under Internal Revenue Code Section 7430.
Proposed Modifications and Division of a Trust
In Private Letter Ruling 201349002 (released Dec. 6, 2013), a taxpayer’s representative requested six rulings on the gift, estate, generation-skipping transfer (GST) and income tax consequences of proposed modifications and division of a trust.
Disregarding a QTIP
In Private Letter Ruling 201345006, the Internal Revenue Service determined that an election to treat assets of a marital trust as qualified terminable interest property wasn’t necessary to reduce the estate tax liability to zero because no estate tax would have been imposed on the assets, regardless of whether an election was made.
Engaging in Prohibited Transactions
In Terry L. Ellis and Sheila K. Ellis v. Commissioner, the Tax Court addressed eight issues in connection with a notice of deficiency and accuracy-related penalties issued for tax years 2005 and 2006.
Carrying on a Trade or Business
When to pay the estate tax on an asset that’s an interest in a closely held corporation or used for lending and finance.
Maintaining GST Status Despite Trust Modifications
The IRS concluded that modifications wouldn’t cause the trusts to lose their grandfathered status for GST tax purposes and wouldn’t cause a distribution or termination of any interest to be subject to GST tax.
Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees and Costs in Pursuit of a Refund
On Oct. 18, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts looked at when a plaintiff estate could recover attorneys’ fees and costs after seeking a refund of federal estate taxes.
Trustee Misconduct and Denial of Commissions
What’s the appropriate scope of a trustee’s misconduct that a court should examine when deciding whether to award, reduce or deny a trustee’s commission?
Post-Death Challenges to the Validity of a Marriage
Do the Wisconsin marriage and annulment statutes allow a court, in an estate case, to declare a marriage void after the death of one of the parties? “Yes,” said the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
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