Legal-Ease: Impending tax law change impacts family businesses

Before the end of 2016, the IRS is expected to issue a new regulation that will significantly affect gift and estate taxes for many family businesses. Traditionally certain family-owned businesses are considered valuable due to the respective businesses’ synergy. So if one sibling wants to sell his 1/5 share of a $5 million business, his individual share would be worth less than $1 million. This concept is referred to as discounting for lack of marketability and lack of control. It’s often used in farm and business succession planning to keep things fair among heirs as well as to continue the viability of family businesses and farms. But now the IRS will be cracking down on discounts for lack of marketability and lack of control in one area: estate and gift tax calculations.