Tax

Tax

The attorneys at Mollis & Mollis, Inc. represent individuals and fiduciaries in connection with all aspects of estate planning and administration, including advice regarding the income taxation of estates, trusts, and beneficiaries; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax matters; special problems relating to closely-held business owners; and complex tax and other problems involving estates, trusts, and beneficiaries.

We routinely advise clients regarding issues related to:

  • Gift taxation
  • Estate taxation
  • Income taxation
  • Generation-skipping transfer taxes
  • Step-up in basis for capital gains tax purposes
  • Business succession planning
  • Real property taxes

We represent our clients in tax controversies and have negotiated favorable settlements on behalf of clients with the Internal Revenue Service, California State Board of Equalization, California Franchise Tax Board and County Assessor's Offices.  In the event a matter cannot be settled, we are capable of trying cases before all tax forums.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are an important consideration in every estate plan or transaction involving the transfer of real property.  California calculates annual property taxes based on a percent of a real property's assessed value.  Unless a "change in ownership" occurs, assessors may only increase a property's assessed value by only 2% per year.  Historically, this has been favorable to property owners as values have increased more than 2% per year.

The rules regarding what constitutes a "change in ownership" are confusing and complex, and many property owners have inadvertently triggered a reassessment, resulting in significant increases in property taxes.  Many businesses that own real property have unknowingly triggered reassessment, because even the transfer of a small (even one percent) interest in the business can trigger a reassessment of all California real property owned by the business entity.  Compounding the problem further, the State Board of Equalization now imposes substantial penalties for failing to timely report an event triggering a change in ownership with respect to an entity owning real property.

Our attorneys have a thorough understanding of California's Property Tax rules, and assist our clients in identifying whether a proposed transfer will trigger an unwanted reassessment.  We prepare strategies to avoid or minimize an increase in assessed value, and communicate directly with the State Board of Equalization and local assessors to ensure all available exclusions from reassessment are identified and properly claimed (including parent-child transfers, interspousal transfers, grandparent-grandchild transfers, and transfers by persons 55 years or older).

We welcome your inquiry regarding our tax planning services.  For further information, or to schedule a consultation, contact Mollis & Mollis, Inc..