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.

Contributions to IRAs and CESAs
In this PLR, the IRS ruled that a taxpayer who submits a letter of authorization (LOA) to make a contribution to an existing IRA or CESA is deemed to have made a contribution on the last day of the preceding taxable year, so long as the LOA is postmarked or transmitted within the time prescribed by law for filing the taxpayer’s tax return.
Donating LLC Interests to an Irrevocable Trust
Does a proposed donation of limited liability company membership interests in a decedent’s estate to an irrevocable trust constitute self-dealing?
Charitable Deductions, Disqualified Persons and the Excess Business Holdings Tax
The IRS ruled that a surviving spouse’s estate could claim a charitable deduction for assets passing to three charitable lead annuity trusts. The CLATs, created under the surviving spouse’s revocable trust, included assets passing from a marital trust created under a revocable trust of the predeceased spouse.
Family Trust Assets
In a recent Private Letter Ruling, the Internal Revenue Service concluded that the value of assets held in a family trust aren’t includible in a decedent’s gross estate, except for the value of a “5 or 5” power held by a decedent at his death.
Complete or Incomplete Gifts?
In Private Letter Ruling 201426014 (June 27, 2014), the Internal Revenue Service issued four rulings in relation to property held in an irrevocable trust.
Mandatory Penalties for Late Returns
In Liftin v. United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a Court of Federal Claims’ finding that a penalty for a late-filing estate tax return was mandatory.
Proposed Division of a QTIP Trust
In a recent Private Letter Ruling, the Internal Revenue Service issued five rulings regarding the federal income and gift tax consequences of a proposed division of an irrevocable trust.
Marital Deduction for Full Amount Denied
In Chief Counsel Advice 201416007 (released April 18, 2014), the IRS denied a marital deduction under IRC Section 2056 for the full amount of an elective share provided by state law.
Estate Tax Liability Installments Denied
In Woodbury v. Commissioner, the Tax Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Internal Revenue Service, based on a finding that an estate failed to timely make an election to pay estate taxes in installments.
Res Judicata Not a Bar to Beneficiary Liability
In United States v. Whisenhunt, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, adopted a magistrate’s conclusion that an estate beneficiary was personally liable for the estate’s unpaid tax liabilities as the recipient of an individual retirement account distribution.
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.
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