Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, November 30, 2012

Man Tries To Dodge Estate Tax By Establishing a Foundation

IRS 2The Education Assistance Foundation for The Descendants of Hungarian Immigrants in The Performing Arts (EAFDHIPA) was established as education foundation designed to provide scholarships to junior or senior college students of hungarian of eastern european descent that have a descendant who took part in the performing arts. The foundation was established in 2005, has received more than $2 Million in donations, and have only given $200,000 in only a few scholarships. To make matters more interesting, when the IRS conducted an audit of the foundation, they discovered that one of few scholarships awarded were given to someone with the same last name and address as the President of the organization. If this seems like something gone awry then you are not alone because the IRS felt the same way too.

After conducting the audit of their 2005 tax return, the IRS concluded "that the Foundation was created in order to avoid paying estate and generation-skipping taxes on the estate of one individual, Julius Schaller, and to finance the education of Mr. Schaller's relatives." The estate has challenged the conclusion in tax court pending the appeal of a district court's decision this month. That case dealt with the tax exemption status of the organization. The IRS is claiming that Mr. Schaller's estate has committed fraud and tried to place a tax penalty on the organization.

See Peter J. Reilly, Education Foundation Or Estate Tax Dodge - Remains To Be Seen, Forbes, Nov. 28, 2012.

Special thanks to Bruce J. Gary (Price, Crooke, Gary and Hammers, Inc.) and Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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