This update on trust, estate and gift tax developments covers provisions of the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, gift tax on trust remainder interests, deductions for gift tax paid and the deceased spousal unused exclusion amount.
The majority of executives say in a survey distributed-ledger technology, a category that includes blockchain, has been more difficult to implement than expected. Problems include issues related to scalability, transaction confidentiality and hardware security.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and several federal regulators recently issued an interagency statement specifying that community banks and credit unions can share resources to protect against money laundering. The statement outlines potential benefits of pooling resources in terms of internal controls, independent testing and training, but it warns that sharing a Bank Secrecy Act officer might create problems.
The rising Treasury yield curve and tightening interest-rate spreads are raising concerns about liquidity problems among financial firms, many of which are shedding staff in their residential lending programs, writes Christopher Whalen of Whalen Global Advisors. Highly leveraged lenders are particularly at risk from rising interest rates, he writes.
Credit unions that have a cohesive, clear governance structure are better positioned to fight external and internal fraud and protect their reputations, writes James Pan of Point B. Having an executive oversight committee and a program management office are crucial steps to maintaining a strong compliance plan, Pan writes.
Sears Holdings has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition, and Eddie Lampert has resigned as CEO but remains chairman. A deal with lenders allows hundreds of stores to remain open while the company goes through bankruptcy proceedings.
Accounting rules that take effect at the beginning of next year could force companies to search for agreements that count as leases in unexpected places. For example, contracts for naming rights at entertainment venues could contain provisions that count as leases.