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One of the most popular immigration avenues available right now is for family members to petition for their immediate relatives. Unfortunately, often they are turned away because their immediate relatives are inadmissible to the United States for entering the United States without inspection ("EWI"). The main avenue around this currently is a hardship waiver that must be applied for outside the U.S. For families this means months apart outside the United States with the possibility of a denial hanging over the entire process. USCIS finally sought to make this process easier and announced a proposed rule at the beginning of the year. The proposed rule would allow for waivers to be filed and approved before the relative leaves the country, but after almost a year we are still waiting.
Recently, the Tax Court held that gifts of limited partnership interests made by a decedent during his life were gifts of present interests that qualified for the annual exclusion, currently $13,000.00 per person per donee. Estate of George H. Wimmer, TC Memo 2012-157. Internal Revenue Code Section 2503(b) provides that the first $13,000.00 of gifts made to any person are free of gift tax if they are not gifts of future interest in property. Under regulations, a present interest is an unrestricted right to immediate use, possession, or enjoyment of property or the income from property. Treas. Reg. § 25.2503-3(b).
A federal District Court in New York recently determined that an executor of an estate was personally liable for an IRS levy when he distributed funds to a beneficiary after being notified of the levy. U.S. v. Michel, (2012 D.C.N.Y.) 110 AFTR 2d 2012-5117. Liability attached even though the executor's attorney advised him that the levy had been satisfied. The court determined that the attorney was not a necessary party in order to determine whether the IRS could prevail against the executor. The court determined that even if the executor had acted in good faith, the absence of intentional or negligent conduct was not relevant to his liability under Internal Revenue Code Section 6332 for failing to satisfy the levy.
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