For privately held businesses, especially family-owned firms, the estate tax bite can be substantial. In certain situations, it may even force a business owner’s heirs to sell the business.
With careful estate planning, owners of private businesses can often transfer wealth to their heirs without incurring estate or gift taxes. In the context of a succession plan, advisors often recommend transferring minority interests in the business to the junior generation. The transfers of illiquid stock and the senior generation’s retained interest are typically discounted in value, as the smaller blocks lack liquidity.
The size of the discount applied in a valuation is typically the most contentious issue between the taxpayer and the IRS. Our expertise in determining discounts and empirical support from the LiquiStat™ database (proprietary and exclusive) and Pluris DLOM study, provides our clients with a significant advantage and a defensible valuation.