Feds Want $29 Million In Taxes On Phantom Estate Value
It’s bad enough that we have a tax which, if your estate is not properly sheltered, can more than half its value. It is even worse when the IRS tries to tax value in your estate that doesn’t actually exist.
The object under discussion is “Canyon,” a masterwork of 20th-century art created by Robert Rauschenberg that Sonnabend’s children inherited when she died in 2007.
Because the work, a sculptural combine, includes a stuffed bald eagle, a bird under federal protection, the heirs would be committing a felony if they ever tried to sell it. So their appraisers have valued the work at zero. But the IRS takes a different view. It has appraised “Canyon” at $65 million and is demanding that the owners pay $29.2 million in taxes. …
While art lovers may appreciate the IRS’ aesthetic sensibilities, some estate planners, tax lawyers and collectors are alarmed at the agency’s position, arguing the case could upend the standard practice of valuing assets according to their sale in a normal market. IRS guidelines say that in figuring an item’s fair market value, taxpayers should “include any restrictions, understandings, or covenants limiting the use or disposition of the property.”
I think we ought to get rid of every tax that involves the government making a subjective determination about what our property is worth.
Income taxes? Sales taxes? Fine. But taxes on property value where the government has input on both the rate of the tax and the value being taxed?
That’s a recipe for nonsense like this.Tags: asshtas, estate tax, irs, property taxes