Throughout Southern California
View Our Practice Areas

IRS Getting Greedy Over Old "Gifts"?

6a017d3e6b2617970c017eeb213cc0970d-320wi.jpgIn 1972 ... Sumner Redstone, who wasn't yet a global media mogul, made a taxable gift to his children and failed to file a return. At least that's what the Internal Revenue Service is maintaining 41 years later. The IRS told Redstone earlier this year that he owes $1.1 million in taxes and penalties, plus interest, because of the gift.

So, how long does (or can) the IRS scour your financial history to find taxable gifts? Well, it seems they do (or can) go back some 41 years. Whether you are a billionaire or a regular "Joe," a recent case is worthy of note.

Enter the case of Sumner Redstone and a 1972 inter-family legal proceeding. The IRS has elected to call this "proceeding" a gift with much in past due taxes and penalties.

Bloomberg recently reported on this unique fact pattern in an article titled "Billionaire Redstone Challenges IRS on Tax for 1972 Gift." Normally the IRS is bound by a statute of limitations set to about three years. However, an exception to this rule includes the failure to file a tax return like the allegedly missing gift tax return of Mr. Redstone.

Apparently, the difficulty arose over certain shares of National Amusements Inc., and a family legal agreement resulting in a "transfer" of shares. The IRS is now calling that "transfer" a "gift" with $1.1 million in taxes, penalties, and interest due and owing.

According to Richard Behrendt, a former estate and gift tax auditor turned director of estate planning, "This is unheard of... I can't remember ever hearing of anybody going back 41 years to raise an issue. It's really unprecedented in my experience."

Note: Mr. Redstone may have become a target, given the fact he is the chairman of both Viacom and CBS, not to mention National Amusements and all the related subsidiaries of the three. Reportedly, Mr. Redstone is worth approximately $4.9 billion. Nevertheless, this 41-year-look-back is a strange precedent.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Find Out The Difference That Experience And Expertise Makes

Get the peace of mind that you deserve. First, attend a seminar. This will entitle you to a free initial consultation and a discounted estate planning fee. To learn more about our services or sign up for a seminar, contact us online or call us at 866-402-1805. We have offices in Torrance, Orange, Newport Beach, Pasadena and Woodland Hills.

Questions? Contact Us.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Call Now For A Free Consultation: 866-402-1805
  • ${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
  • Main Office: Torrance

    Torrance Office
    990 West 190th Street
    Suite 500
    Torrance, CA 90502

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Orange Office
    333 City Boulevard West
    17th Floor
    Orange, CA 92660

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Newport Beach Office
    5000 Birch Street
    Suite 8000
    Newport Beach, CA 92660

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Pasadena Office
    790 East Colorado Boulevard
    9th Floor
    Pasadena, CA 91101

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Woodland Hills Office
    5850 Canoga Avenue
    4th Floor
    Woodland Hills, CA 91367

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Office map
Check out The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis on Yelp
Check out Kavesh Minor & Otis on Yelp
Check out The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis - Orange on Yelp
Check out The Law Firm of Kavesh Minor & Otis - Pasadena on Yelp