Tax Planning for Marijuana Dealers

This paper proposes alternative tax planning options for marijuana sellers, many of whom see federal tax law as a bigger obstacle to developing a legitimate marijuana industry than federal criminal law. I.R.C 280E is a “largely symbolic” federal policy designed to punish drug dealers, but Leff argues this policy could be driving many marijuana businesses underground. So he proposes a tax strategy what would allow marijuana sellers who are operating legally under local state law to avoid the harmful impacts of 280E by qualifying as a tax exempt organization. Federal doctrine prohibits 501(c)(3) organizations from contradicting federal laws, so Leff proposes forming a 501(c)(4). Under a 501(c)(4), organixations are required to hire and provide job training to residents of neighborhoods with high crime and poverty rates.

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