Trusts & Estates Law News - U.S. Eighth Circuit
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Reasonable Compensation? John Edwards Tax Shelter Strikes Again

If you follow tax law, you’ve probably heard of the John Edwards tax shelter. Former vice-presidential candidate Edwards saved a bundle in payroll taxes - around $600,000 - by forming an S-Corporation, paying himself a relatively modest salary through the S-Corp, and taking the rest of his pay in dividends.

This week, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the IRS properly assessed an Iowa accountant — who implemented a similar tax shelter plan — for additional payroll taxes because the accountant had not paid himself “reasonable compensation.”

Artificial Insemination Child Denied Social Security Benefits

Children are expensive. Childcare and tuition costs are increasing far faster than the rate of inflation. As a result, many couples are waiting longer to have a child, which, in turn, means that more couples are turning to fertility treatments, including artificial insemination, to conceive when they can afford a child.

Why should this matter to lawyers?

Sometimes family planning does not occur on the couples’ intended schedules. Sometimes one partner dies before the couple can start a family. But when the surviving partner decides to have children using the eggs or sperm of his/her late spouse, the legal result can turn into a nightmare hypothetical from your law school past.