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Taxes/Estates/Trusts/Elder Law

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Craig D. Bell

McGuireWoods LLP

Title: Partner

Other legal specialties: Federal, state and local tax controversy and tax litigation, both trial and appellate. For fun and to broaden my interest in antique weapons, arms and armor, I advise museums and historical societies on their acquisition of historic antique weapons and related artifacts.

Birthplace: Buffalo, N.Y.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in management (with honors) and a master’s in business administration, Syracuse University; law degree, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law; and master of tax laws degree, William & Mary Law School.

Spouse: Karen L. Bell

First job as a lawyer: U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps

Fan of: Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills.

Favorite vacation spot: Custer State Park and Badlands, South Dakota

Recently read book: “My Life with the Saints,” by James Martin

Career Mentor: Col. Stephen H. Robinette, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army  

What has been the overall impact of new federal tax law on your clients? The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act provided a number of benefits and incentives to my clients. The reduction of the C corporation top tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, coupled with the repeal of the alternative minimum corporate tax rate is long overdue and provides immediate relief. Providing a deduction for depreciable business assets with a recovery period of 20 years or less in the year they are placed in service benefits all business taxpayers that need to invest in capital assets. At the same time eliminating some business deductions for certain entertainment expenses, limits on business interest, and restricting the ability to use the net operating loss deduction is probably overdue. It remains to be seen how well the new pass-through tax deduction will work for sole proprietorships, LLCs, partnerships and S corporations.

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