Beth Shapiro Kaufman is a member in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C. office. She rejoined the firm's private client group in 2001 after working for over six years in the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Policy. Serving first as Attorney Advisor and then as Associate Tax Legislative Counsel, Ms. Kaufman had principal responsibility for all tax policy matters affecting trusts and estates, including estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes, as well as income taxation of trusts and estates. She has continued her focus in these areas in private practice.
ServicesAt Caplin & Drysdale, Ms. Kaufman assists wealthy individuals with their estate planning. She also advises lawyers and other professionals on complex issues regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. She is frequently retained by counsel to assist in estate and gift tax audits, to advocate a taxpayer's position before the Internal Revenue Service, or to seek a private letter ruling.
HighlightsWhile with the government, Ms. Kaufman was the primary Treasury representative involved in the legislative and regulatory developments affecting the taxation of trusts and estates. Legislative projects included the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. Regulatory projects included regulations on qualified domestic trusts, generation-skipping transfer tax, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, adequate disclosure for gift tax purposes, separate share, definition of foreign and domestic trusts, and valuation tables.
- Frequent lecturer on topics related to estate planning and has spoken before numerous professional groups, including the University of Miami Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, ALI-ABA, the ABA Tax and Real Property, Probate and Trust Sections.
- Speaker, Dealing with the Continued Uncertainty of the Tax Law, ACTEC 2012 Fall Meeting Professional Program, October 19, 2012
- Key Note Speaker, Estate and Gift Tax Policy: A View From Inside the Beltway, Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York, May 26, 2011
- Panelist, The Federal Estate Tax: A Case Study in Uncertainty, National Tax Association, May 19, 2011
- Panelist, 2010 Tax Act Impact on Estate Planning: Successfully Navigating Uncharted Waters, ALI-ABA/ACTEC, January 28, 2010
Awards & Honors
- Ranked as a Top Lawyer in the 2010-2013 editions of Chambers USA in Wealth Management (Eastern Region) - Nationwide
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America from 2003-2013
- Listed in Super Lawyers from 2007-2013 as well as Super Lawyers' Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington
- Washingtonian magazine's Top Lawyers in the 2007, 2009, and 2011-2012 editions; and included in Washingtonian's listing of 160 of the area's best financial planners, wealth managers, accountants, and estate attorneys in 2010
- Recognized as the Top Lawyer of Washington in the Trusts & Estates category by the Washington Business Journal in 2008
- AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Ms. Kaufman is a frequent media commentator on estate planning issues. Her latest mentions include:
- 13 Tax Breaks You've Never Heard Of, The Fiscal Times (February 1, 2013)
- The Gift That Keeps Giving, The Wall Street Journal (August 17, 2012)
- Invasion of the Charity Snatchers, The Wall Street Journal (June 8, 2012)
- New Obama Budget Proposal Targets Popular Estate Planning Technique, Tax Analysts (February 15, 2012)
- Goods News for Gift Givers, The Wall Street Journal (November 29, 2011)
- IRS Clarifies Estate Rules, The Wall Street Journal (October 8, 2011)
- How to Claim Unclaimed Money Without Getting Scammed, Reuters (October 7, 2011)
To view a comprehensive list of Ms. Kaufman's media mentions, please visit here.
- Demystifying the IRS Guidance Process, Estate Planning (February 2013)
- Federal Tax Rules Should Not Be Used to Limit Trust Duration, Tax Notes (August 13, 2012)
- Unreported Gifts of Real Property: Time for a Voluntary Disclosure?,Tax Notes (August 1, 2011)
- Finally Legislation! Congress Kicks the Can Down the Road, Washington Watch (June 2011)
- Happy New Year: Out With the Old, In with the...Older, Washington Watch, (December 2010)
- 2010: The Anatomy of a Train Wreck, Estate Planning (May 2010)
- Estate Tax Expires – For Now, Washington Jewish Week (January 7, 2010)
- Budget and Health Care and Taxes. Oh My!, Estate Planning (December 2009)