Start early, end strong – Tax planning in litigation
Abstract: Tax planning at the beginning of a case can have a significant impact on the eventual financial outcome. There’s a substantial difference between an award or settlement that’s subject to income tax and one that’s not. Most cases involve a combination of taxable and nontaxable claims; the ultimate tax treatment of an award or settlement depends on how it’s allocated among those claims. For example, some damages are excluded from income — and, even for those that aren’t, the distinction between wage and nonwage damages is important. It pays to give some thought to tax issues early so as to secure the most tax-advantageous result for a client.