Mr. and Mrs. Castelano have been married for 5 years. This year, they won $500,000 at a casino. They know that this will put them in the highest tax bracket for the year. To reduce their tax burden and avoid the “marriage penalty”, they are considering going to Mexico in December to obtain a divorce. They plan to continue to live together, but file separate returns for this year using the single filing status. They plan to remarry in February of next year. They have come to your firm to see if this strategy is a valid way to reduce their taxes.
1) Use the CCH Tax Research Database to determine whether the Castellano’s plan is valid. Please use Primary Authorities to the extent possible to determine your response.
2) Write a memo to your boss communicating the results of your research. Your memo should specifically cite your research findings to support your conclusion as to whether or not the Castellano’s plan is acceptable. Exhibit 2-9 on page 2-20 of your text gives an example of the possible format for an Internal Research Memo. Although your memo doesn’t have to follow this exact format, you should familiarize yourself with this example and be sure to include the same types of information in your memo. Grading:
Your grade will based on the following: 30 points: Identification of relevant research material to support your recommendation 25 points: Proper interpretation of research findings 25 points: Presentation of your conclusion in a clear and concise manner 20 points: Grammar, spelling, format
You don’t need to use the specific CCH database, as long as you can find other sources