When Characterizing Golfer’s Endorsement Income, Image Matters

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May 7, 2013

As a follow-up to our posts on the Goosen case regarding sourcing of a golfer’s income from sponsors (see here), we provide this update on the case involving golfer Sergio Garcia.  While they were not technically related cases, the significant overlap in issues and facts—not to mention witness testimony—meant that the outcome in Goosen partially determined the outcome in Garcia.

Both cases involved the character of the golfers’ endorsement income.  Coincidentally, the golfers each had an endorsement contract with the same brand—TaylorMade.  The golfers both argued that the lion’s share of the endorsement income was royalty income … Read More

Briefing Complete in Sophy on Treatment of Mortgage Interest Deduction for Non-Married Couples

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April 5, 2013

The Government has filed its brief in the taxpayers’ appeal to the Ninth Circuit of the Tax Court’s decision that the mortgage interest deduction applies on a per residence rather than per taxpayer basis.  See our previous coverage here.   Section 163(h)(3) limits deductible mortgage interest to “acquisition indebtedness” of $1,000,000 and “home equity indebtedness” of $100,000.   With their Beverly Hills home and Rancho Mirage secondary residence, domestic partners Bruce Voss and Charles Sophy had considerably more indebtedness, and argued that, together, they should be able to deduct interest paid on up to $2.2 million of acquisition and home equity … Read More

Briefing Complete in Bergmann

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February 8, 2013

The Bergmanns participated in a listed transaction promoted by KPMG, known as the Short Option Strategy.  When the Bergmanns filed their amended return in March 2004, the IRS had already served KPMG with summonses targeted at KMPG’s promotion of the Short Option Strategy.  As discussed in an earlier post, the Tax Court held that the Bergmanns failed to timely file a qualified amended return and thus were subject to the 20-percent accuracy related penalty.  Under the regulations in effect when the taxpayers filed their return, the time for filing a qualified amended return terminated when “any person described in … Read More

Briefing Underway in Ninth Circuit on Question of Mortgage Interest Deduction for Non-married Couples

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February 6, 2013

Last spring, the Tax Court held in Sophy v. Commissioner, that the limitations on indebtedness for the mortgage interest deduction are applied on a per residence rather than per taxpayer basis.  The taxpayers appealed to the Ninth Circuit (Nos. 12-73257 and 12-73261), and filed their opening brief on January 30.  The government’s response is due in March.

Under I.R.C. § 163(h)(3), taxpayers are allowed to deduct “qualified residence interest,” which includes interest paid or accrued on acquisition indebtedness with respect to any qualified residence of the taxpayer, or home equity indebtedness with respect to any qualified residence of the … Read More