Pat Hindert and I seem to be killing one bird with two stones, or at least two stones thrown from the opposite side of the Single Claimant 468B bird.
There is no black and white, only shades of gray
"There is no black and white, only shades of gray" goes the chorus to the 1960s tune by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and sung by the Will-o-Bees and The Monkees (see below). This tune could be the theme song of certain structured settlement planners, settlement consultants, settlement planners, or whatever they want to label themselves today, who prefer to operate in the gray area of 468B, possibly because the black or white might not be what they want to hear.
When the clarification was removed from the Treasury Priority Guidance Plan after many years, some privately told me that being in the gray was OK, because what if Treasury came back with something unfavorable? Jack Meligan and Dick Risk knew it, which had to be the reason for their attempt to back door the single claimant 468B issue into a February 2010 IRS hearing on 104(a)(2).
Concurrent with the Society of Settlement Planner's legal effort to clarify single claimant 468B which began in or about 2003, I learned that my late friend Richard Halpern DID seek an IRS Private Letter Ruling on single claimant 468B. During one of the numerous conversations I had with Richard prior to his untimely death from cancer in December 2009, Richard detailed his thoughts on single claimant qualified settlement funds. And what may come as a surprise to many people, they were not a whole lot different than what Marty Jacobson presented at NSSTA this month.
A leading tax authority on structured settlements, Robert Wood recommends "avoiding the single claimant controversy by establishing QSFs with multiple claimants"
A newly minted erudite LLM from NYU Law School has a lot of good things to say, but if we were to stack all of the the errors and omissions insurance of the single claimant QSF "jockeys" out there and the attorneys that are providing the tax advice (such as "the gentleman from Oklahama") to them and their clients, is it enough to cover the shortfall if they are all wrong?
Given the hundreds of thousands the SSP and its members expended on Skadden Arps legal advice related to the Treasury clarification that did not happen, what's an additional $50,000 for a Private Letter Ruling?