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Paul O'Quinn

Paul O'Quinn is an associate in Baker McKenzie’s Tax Practice Group in Miami, Florida. He focuses on tax planning and tax controversy. Prior to joining the Firm, Paul clerked for the Honorable David Gustafson at the United States Tax Court.

The Baker McKenzie Global Wealth Management Subpractice Group is presenting a series of short webinars to keep members of the community abreast of recent developments in these uncertain times. On 10 November 2020, the topics focused on during the webinar were “Giving it away piece by piece: an update and discussion on conservation easement deductions from planning and controversy perspectives” and “US domestic planning opportunities amidst crisis”.

The IRS has prevailed in more than three dozen conservation easement disputes in the Tax Court over the past year alone. On 9 July 2020, the Tax Court handed the IRS victories in four conservation easement disputes on the same day, on the basis that none of the easements were protected ‘in perpetuity’ under Code Section 170(h)(5)(A). The cases are: Englewood Place v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2020-105, Maple Landing v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2020-104, Riverside Place v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2020-103, and Village At Effingham v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2020-102.

On 11 May 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Rev. Proc. 2020-20, which provides federal income tax relief for certain nonresident taxpayers who were impacted by travel and related disruptions caused by the COVID-19 virus. The IRS subsequently published additional guidance on the application of Rev. Proc. 2020-20, in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for Individuals Claiming the Medical Condition Exception in 2020” (published on 27 May 2020), and “FAQs for Nonresident Alien Individuals and Foreign Businesses with Employees or Agents Impacted by COVID-19 Emergency Travel Disruptions” (published on 12 June 2020). This Revenue Procedure and subsequent guidance provides much needed relief to nonresident aliens, who could have otherwise experienced adverse income tax consequences by becoming subject to US taxation due to COVID-19.

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