Ken Milani’s article, “Seeking shelter: Pondering the potential and problems,” co-authored with Richard Rodriguez, was recently published in the October 2019 issue of The Tax Magazine. Richard is a Double Domer, with both undergraduate and MSA degrees from ND.
Abstract: As federal income tax rates drop and the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) decreases or disappears, the appeal of and interest in tax shelters appears to be diminishing. When one adds the "target marketing" of shelters to the mix, it's easy to understand why many practitioners find themselves with little or no experience or exposure to the potential and the problems of tax shelters. Nonetheless, increased IRS scrutiny of investments that allow for tax avoidance, and at times tax evasion continues. This heightened level of attention generates investigations that focus on whether or not an offering is an "abusive tax shelter." Questions are posed such as: Does the investment have beneficial societal outcomes? Are the tax benefits exaggerated? All of these elements combine in a manner that makes it important for tax practitioners to understand the benefits and the blemishes of tax shelters.