Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gifts to Trust Complete Even With Retained Power of Appointment

In Chief Counsel Advice 201208026, the IRS rejected two arguments for transfers to an irrevocable trust to avoid gift tax. First, the taxpayer argued the gifts were "incomplete" because the donor retained a testamentary limited power of appointment over the trust, but no power over discretionary distributions to the current beneficiaries. The IRS stated that the gift was complete as to the income interest of the current beneficiaries, and incomplete as to the remainder. In addition, the "crummey" withdrawal powers were defective because the beneficiaries could not enforce them, and would lose their interests as a discretionary beneficiary if the powers were exercised. For more information, see Federal Taxes Weekly Alert.