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Massachusetts Tax Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Education Law, Tax Law and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: Should I sue my school?

I attend a private high school in MA. The school has meetings that only members of certain races or ethnicities are allowed to attend. The school does not receive federal funds, but is a 501 (c)(3). Could I sue under code IRS 75-50 similar to Bob Jones vs US?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 27, 2024

The case you referenced, Bob Jones University v. United States (1983), dealt with the IRS revoking the tax-exempt status of a private university due to its racially discriminatory policies. The Supreme Court ruled that the IRS could revoke the tax-exempt status of organizations that violate... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is a Irrevocable trust legally obligated to pay income taxes on monetary cash gifts it receives ?

Id like to know:

Are Irrevocable trusts legally responsible to pay income taxes on any monetary cash gifts they receive within a single calendar year or is such money gifts the trusts acquire, exempt from any taxation requirements ?

(fyi: In this particular situation the money gifts... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Apr 26, 2024

At the federal level gifts are not taxable to the recipient. The gift giver might owe gift tax but that is highly unlikely to apply to such small amounts. Some states might have lower gift tax exemptions but, again, even those would be unlikely to impact such small gift amounts.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is a Irrevocable trust legally obligated to pay income taxes on monetary cash gifts it receives ?

Id like to know:

Are Irrevocable trusts legally responsible to pay income taxes on any monetary cash gifts they receive within a single calendar year or is such money gifts the trusts acquire, exempt from any taxation requirements ?

(fyi: In this particular situation the money gifts... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 27, 2024

In the United States, irrevocable trusts are generally not required to pay income taxes on monetary gifts they receive, as long as the gifts are within the annual gift tax exclusion limit. For the tax year 2024, the annual gift tax exclusion is $18,000 per recipient from each donor. This means that... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can money be gifted to a irrevocable trust ?

I have 3 questions:

1) Can money be gifted to a irrevocable trust?

If so

2) Is their a maximum amount allowed to be gifted in a certain period e.g like yearly etc?

3) Can a trustee and beneficiary to the same trust also gift money to the same trust?

Thank you

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 12, 2024

Yes, money can be gifted to an irrevocable trust. However, there are some important considerations and limitations:

1. Gift tax exemption: As of 2024, an individual can gift up to $18,000 per recipient per year without triggering the need to file a gift tax return or pay gift taxes. This is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Immigration Law, Tax Law and International Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I invest/Trade cryptocurrency with my F1student visa(OPT)status in USA? Need to know legalities!

So I have finished my Masters recently and Started working on OPT. So I wanted to start investing/trading crypto and I still couldn't find proper solutions for my question. if I am allowed to do so, then how many trades/transactions can I do in a day/week. I looking for proper legal guidance... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 16, 2024

As an F1 student visa holder currently on Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the USA, you are primarily in the country for educational purposes. However, engaging in investment activities, including trading or investing in cryptocurrencies, does not directly conflict with your visa status.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law, Tax Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello, if I rent a apartment &sublet it on airbnb or other website for few months is it legally allowed for a H1b holder

I may or may not earn through subleting, but could i do it ? if so for how many months? if i may use it to earn this as a side income? what is the allowable income I can generate, is there any cap? The landlord allows to sublet on weekly or monthly basis but me being the primary person renting.... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 4, 2024

If you're on an H1B visa and considering subletting an apartment on platforms like Airbnb, it's crucial to understand how this could impact your visa status. H1B visa holders are authorized to work only for their petitioning employer, and any income generated outside of this employment... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does this clause in a irrevocable trust I am trustee to allow me the right to make trust rental income distributions?

Does this clause in a irrevocable trust I am trustee to allow me the legal right to make distributions of commercial rental income the trust produces to beneficiaries to avoid the trust paying high estate taxes on that income? Thankyou

"POWER OF TRUSTEE: To make allocations, divisions... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 2, 2024

Based on the trust clause you have provided, it does appear that as trustee you have fairly broad discretion to make distributions of trust income to beneficiaries. The language specifically gives you power as trustee to "make allocations, divisions and distributions of trust property"... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I’m planning to sell my mother’s house in the next few months and want to know if taxes will be incurred?

I’m planning to sell my mother’s house in Massachusetts in the next few months. She transferred the deed to me about 10 years ago so it’s in my name. My question is will taxes be due from the sale of the house and if so, how much? We’re planning to use the proceeds to pay for senior living... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 22, 2024

When you sell a house that has appreciated in value since it was transferred to you, capital gains tax may be due on the profit from the sale. Since the house was transferred to your name 10 years ago, the cost basis for calculating capital gains would typically be the home's market value at... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have any recourse for tax relief service who claims I did not submit financials to them when required?

IRS sent letter out stating determination would not be until 3/24/2024. It was filed on 9/24/2023/ I sent out financials on 10/3/2023. I spoke with IRS examiner and she stated offer and compromise was taken off the table because myself and power of attorney withdrew it. I never received notice... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 22, 2024

If you're facing issues with a tax relief service that claims you did not submit financials when required, and this miscommunication led to the withdrawal of an Offer in Compromise (OIC) with the IRS, you may have recourse. First, gather all documentation of your interactions with the tax... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have any recourse for tax relief service who claims I did not submit financials to them when required?

IRS sent letter out stating determination would not be until 3/24/2024. It was filed on 9/24/2023/ I sent out financials on 10/3/2023. I spoke with IRS examiner and she stated offer and compromise was taken off the table because myself and power of attorney withdrew it. I never received notice... View More

Linda Simmons Campbell
Linda Simmons Campbell
answered on Feb 14, 2024

You have to be careful when you use one of these tax relief companies. File a complaint with the better business bureau. That may get the companies attention. As for the IRS. You can file another Offer in Compromise. Unfortunately I have had clients that have been told they can get an Offer and... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Claiming "Senior Circuit breaker" Tax Credit with Multiple people on deed

My mother in law use to claim the massachsuetts "Senior Circuit Breaker" Credit on her taxes for years (She is 92). Last year after her stroke she revised her will and put myself and my husband on the deed to the house with here via quitclaim deed and retaining life estate (so technically... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 22, 2024

In Massachusetts, the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit is designed for senior citizens who meet certain criteria, including property ownership and occupancy. Even though the deed to the house now includes you and your husband, the fact that your mother-in-law retains a life estate means she still... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Tax Law and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hired Tax attorney in Massachusetts. How can we avoid paying more than 8K due to engagement letter not followed by him.

engagement doc signed & advance 8kpaid in Apr. He didn’t send monthly invoices as per engagement doc. Didn’t tell us when the cost of services exceeded 8k. He sent invoice of 23k in Aug. Engagement doc excerepts - The firm’s charges are hourly.Invoices will be sent on monthly basis for... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Sep 4, 2023

You can dispute whether the attorney actually performed the services described in the invoice and whether they are reasonable and necessary with the Fee Arbitration Board.

Nothing you quoted requires the attorney to receive prior approval by you to exceed the initial retainer of $8k....
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Tax Law and Business Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I am appointed as a manager for a single member LLC my spouse owns, am I considered an employee that needs a salary?

My wife and I are planning on creating a single member LLC in Massachusetts where she would be the sole member and would be managing day-to-day operations for the business. I would be helping manage the business operations, such as finance, bookkeeping, and administrative items such as managing a... View More

William J. Amann
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answered on Jun 8, 2023

No, you don't both need to listed as co-managers. Whether you are a co-manager or manger has little to no bearing on whether you are considered an employee. Employee status analysis is best done under IRS rules. You also don't need to be paid but being paid would bear on employee... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I get a redemption for a real estate tax taking in Massachusetts?

My local tax collectors office filed a tax taking back in 2008 for outstanding real estate taxes due on an investment property? The delinquent taxes were paid by my mortgage servicer from my escrow account.

A recent title search shows the 2008 tax taking lien recorded, but a redemption or... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Apr 12, 2023

If the tax title amount has been paid, the town is required to issue a redemption. The town is permitted, but not required , to request the recording fee for recording the certificate as a condition of providing the certificate, and then must record the certificate. I believe the recording fee for... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I paid income tax to the state last year, but then received a refund check in November due to a late change in the law

to address a surplus. I also received a tax form for the refund to enter on this year's state return. The amount I paid does not equal the refund. How do I enter these values on my state return?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 4, 2023

When reporting your state income taxes on your tax return, you should enter the amount of state income tax that you actually paid during the tax year, which would be the amount that you paid before receiving the refund check in November. You should not include the refund amount as part of the state... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My mother passed away 6 years ago. Now, I am retaining a lawyer to transfer property to me. Do I have to pay taxes for

the 7 years since my mother passed? Or am I only responsible from the date the property is legally transferred to me? The house is in Puerto Rico! Thank you!

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answered on Mar 4, 2023

The tax implications of inheriting property in Puerto Rico can be complex and may depend on several factors, including the value of the property, the length of time it has been held, and any applicable tax exemptions or exclusions. Here are some general guidelines that may be helpful:... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Why would a town restrict occupancy of my home from year round to 6 months if I sell the property? Is there a loophole?

I would like to buy the home but I fear upon purchase, the house would go into a 6 month occupancy (required by the town). I would prefer to keep the house year round. Is there a workaround? Has new legislation opened things up?

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answered on Mar 4, 2023

The reasons for a town to restrict the occupancy of a home from year-round to 6 months may vary depending on the specific regulations and zoning laws in that area. However, it is often done to preserve the character of the community, maintain the quality of life for residents, and prevent... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Contracts for Massachusetts on
Q: Is certificate required for septic repair?

Spent $5k on septic repair when wastewater flooded the yard from the leach field. I wasn't given a certificate. Is one always needed to claim the credit? This wasn't a simple drain clog and the entire leech field was dug up, cleaned up, and soil replaced. I have a detailed invoice and... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Feb 23, 2023

I don't think you need a new Title V cert. unless you are selling the house. The system has to have 'failed' in order for you to claim the credit. https://www.mass.gov/service-details/view-residential-property-tax-credits. I would contact the DEP or ask your accountant when you file... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Contracts for Massachusetts on
Q: Is certificate required for septic repair?

Spent $5k on septic repair when wastewater flooded the yard from the leach field. I wasn't given a certificate. Is one always needed to claim the credit? This wasn't a simple drain clog and the entire leech field was dug up, cleaned up, and soil replaced. I have a detailed invoice and... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 4, 2023

In general, a certificate is not always required for septic repairs in order to claim a tax credit or deduction. However, the specific requirements may vary depending on the state or municipality where the property is located.

In Massachusetts, for example, a Title 5 inspection and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it possible to avoid estate or gift taxes on a house jointly owned by a father and son after father’s death?

Father and son jointly acquired a home with funds provided by the father. They memorialized an investment agreement/promissory note whereby the son was permitted to live in the house while repaying his half of the initial cost. Additionally, the son was responsible for all utilities, insurance and... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Mar 6, 2023

The issue of whether a third party's improvements to real property reduce its value for estate tax valuation purposes is not straightforward. This question should be directed to a tax professional or your estate attorney.

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