66th Annual Montana Tax Institute

UM Campus Clocktower in Fall


Registration is now available. Register online at www.regonline.com/montanataxinstitute2018. To submit your registration by mail, download the 2018 Registration Form (pdf)


Montana Tax Institute Brochure cover

Dates: Friday, October 19 - Saturday, October 20, 2018
Location: DoubleTree Hotel - Missoula, MT
Program Fee: Early Bird (by September 28) $375, Regular Rate (after September 28) $425
CLE: Credits pending application submission and approval (2017 offered 11.5 CLE, including 1 ethics credit)

The 66th Annual Montana Tax Institute features a distinguished faculty of tax practitioners and scholars. Join us to learn about a broad range of topics and the impact of recently enacted tax legislation from the nation’s foremost experts on tax and estate planning. 

Lodging Information

Room blocks with a discounted rate have been set up at the following hotels. While it is not necessary to make your reservation in the event room blocks, we encourage you to make a room reservation as soon as possible.

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Missoula - Edgewater
100 Madison Street
Missoula, Montana 59802

Reservations: (406) 728-3100
Group name: "Tax Institute 2018"

Room Block Online Reservation Page

Room Block Cutoff Date: September 21, 2018

Holiday Inn logo

Holiday Inn Downtown Missoula
200 South Pattee Street
Missoula, Montana 59802

Reservations: (406) 721-8550
Group name: "UM School of Law"

Room Block Online Reservation Page

Room Block Cutoff Date: September 18, 2018

Wells Fargo logo First Interstate Bank logo US Bank logo Montana Community Foundation logo

2018 AGENDA*

Download a printable version of the agenda here (pdf).

Friday, October 19, 2018

7:00 a.m.

Registration Opens

7:00 - 8:00 a.m.


Breakfast is generously hosted by:

Bessemer Trust logo

8:00 - 8:05 a.m.


Dean Paul Kirgis, Alexander Blewett III School of Law

8:05 - 9:05 a.m.

Choice of Entity in Light of 2017 Tax Law Changes

Steve Gorin

By dramatically cutting corporate income tax rates, 2017 tax legislation has made business clients rethink their choice of entity. I.R.C. Section 199A provides some relief for owners of pass-through entities. We will compare short- and long-term entity planning, including the right and wrong way to convert from an S to a C.

9:05 - 10:00 a.m.

Use of Family Limited Liability Entities in 2018 and Beyond

Martin Burke and Elaine Gagliardi

The family limited partnership and limited liability company continue to provide planning opportunities for clients with and without taxable estates. In a post-Powell v. Commissioner world, however, strategies for structuring the entity have changed. The presentation explores non-tax attributes of limited liability entities, including opportunities for relaxed fiduciary duties and creditor protection, and it evaluates the estate tax and basis implications of the Powell decision.

10:00 - 10:15 a.m.


10:15 - 11:00 a.m.

Partnership Audit Rules and Their Impact

Steve Gorin

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 amended (and the 2018 Appropriations Act revised) procedures for conducting IRS audits of partnerships. Treasury has issued some proposed regulations setting forth a new partnership audit regime effective for 2018, and has indicated it plans to finalize these regulations by the close of 2018. This presentation addresses whether eligible partnerships should elect out of the audit rules and suggests provisions and amendments addressing the rules for inclusion in partnership and operating agreements.

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Review of the Past Year’s Significant, Curious, or Downright Fascinating Fiduciary Cases

Dana Fitzsimons

This session reviews recent cases from across the country to assist fiduciaries and their advisors in identifying and managing contemporary challenges. This presentation discusses a range of subjects including powers of attorney, trust distributions, trust investment duties, accountings, and remedies and damages.

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.


The annual Tax Institute Luncheon is generously hosted by:

Crowley Fleck logo

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Charitable Planning Update

Larry Katzenstein

2018 has seen significant change to the law impacting charitable planning. This presentation reviews recent court opinions, IRS rulings and tax legislation impacting charitable planning techniques.

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Current Developments in Corporate and Partnership Taxation

Bruce McGovern and Cass Brewer

In addition to significant changes enacted as part of the 2017 tax legislation, 2018 brings with it a number of developments in the areas of partnership and corporate taxation. This session reviews the most significant statutory enactments, judicial decisions, IRS rulings, and Treasury regulations promulgated during the last twelve months that affect the domestic income taxation of corporations and partnerships.

3:00 - 3:15 p.m.


3:15 - 4:15 p.m.

Annual Estate Planning Update

Clary Redd

The 2018 increase in the applicable exclusion amount once again requires clients review and rethink their estate plans. This presentation addresses the implications of 2017 tax legislation and analyzes options for responding to its impact. This presentation also discusses the importance of recent cases and rulings addressing common estate planning practices and techniques.

4:15 - 5:15 p.m.

Annual Income Tax Update

Sam Donaldson

Professor Donaldson returns with his annual overview of the important cases, rulings, regulations and legislation from the past 12 months affecting individuals. Still confused about the workings of I.R.C. Section 199A? Professor Donaldson sheds light and clarity on its meaning.

5:15 - 6:00 p.m.


The annual Tax Institute reception is generously hosted by:

US Bank logo

Saturday, October 20, 2018

7:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

7:00 - 7:50 a.m.

BETTR Section Meeting

Annual meeting in the back of the seminar room.

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Effect of 2017 Tax Act on Charitable Giving: A Contrarian’s Point of View

Ramsay Slugg

The 2017 Tax Act made a number of changes affecting both donors and donee charities. Conventional wisdom and most commentators believe this will lead to a significant decline in charitable giving. This presentation discusses all of the changes affecting donors and charities, but will focus primarily on why those changes will not necessarily lead to a decline in charitable giving.

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

New Effective Uses of Non-Grantor Trusts for Individual Taxpayers

Jonathan Blattmachr

This presentation explains in detail how non-grantor trusts may be used to avoid the $10,000 annual limit on real estate tax deductions, the phase out and disallowance of the new Section 199A deduction for specified service businesses and having to use the alternative W-2 and depreciable property tests for other businesses, and provide a taxpayer with the full benefit of a deduction for charitable contributions without foregoing the enhanced standard deduction. 

10:00 - 10:15 a.m.


10:15 - 11:15 a.m.

Ethical Challenges in Recognizing and Representing Clients with Diminishing Capacity

Mary Radford

Individuals age 65 or older currently represent about 15% of the U.S. population. This figure continues to rise, with 10,000 Baby Boomers turning age 65 every day. Longer lives are unfortunately often accompanied by diminishing mental capacity and increased vulnerability. Clients and potential clients whose capacity is diminishing present complex ethical challenges to the professionals who are advising them.

11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Tax Advice on the Green Horizon: Marijuana Businesses in Montana

Pippa Browde

The legalization of marijuana by many states has resulted in exponential growth in marijuana businesses. Montana has legalized the dispensing of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Marijuana businesses face unique tax reporting challenges given the disconnect as between state and federal decriminalization. This presentation addresses tax issues faced when advising Montana owners of marijuana businesses.

12:00 p.m.


*Agenda is subject to change.