Duly Noted


Miller Johnson’s Malviya involved in amicus brief for U.S. Supreme Court case

Raj Malviya, a partner in the Private Client Practice Group of Miller Johnson, is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Through his capacity on the fiduciary income tax committee, he was invited to be part of a committee to draft and file an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on a trust income tax case getting national attention.

The case is North Carolina Department of Revenue v. the Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust. Kaestner involves the constitutionality of North Carolina’s ability to tax a trust under state law if a contingent beneficiary of the trust is a resident of the state.

Other members of the committee included Greg Gadarian, David Berek, Jonathan Blattmachr, Jane Ditelberg, Mitchell Gans, Carl King, Richard Nenno, and Charles Redd.  The ACTEC Amicus Review Committee also analyzed, contributed to, and finalized the work product. This comprehensive and important brief was done under extreme time limits and was filed on March 1, 2019.

Review of Kaestner is timely as it follows SCOTUS’ recent opinion issued in South Dakota v. Wayfair.  The issue of state and local taxation in the trust context is rarely reviewed by SCOTUS and although the application in Kaestner is extremely narrow, a ruling from SCOTUS on this issue will have national influence on state taxation of trusts. The North Carolina Supreme Court held favorably for the taxpayer. Oral argument on Kaestner is set for April 16, 2019.

ACTEC took no position, but filed the brief to “assist the Court in understanding the history and practice of state fiduciary income taxation as applied to accumulated income in nongrantor trusts and the complexities of such statutes in the context of... today’s mobile society.”

Raj A. Malviya, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), practices at Miller Johnson in all areas of transfer tax and fiduciary income tax planning for private clients. He has written and presented on the topic of state fiduciary income taxation for multiple publications and conferences. He serves on the State Bar Probate and Estate Planning Council and committees, as well as on the Real Property Trusts and Estates and Taxation Sections of the ABA. Malviya is ranked by Chambers in the High Net Worth Guide and recognized in Best Lawyers in America.