The Accidental Taxonomist

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The Accidental Taxonomist

When I had fashioned first heard about “governance” with respect to knowledge management and taxonomies, in 2005, it didn’t sound like a subject of interest if you ask me. Perhaps I used to be thinking of it in terms of business process management in general, which is not my field. Governance process begins when taxonomy development starts. Each taxonomy is unique and has its governance policy.

There are minimal guidelines to a taxonomy when it is started. Decisions reached to questions as they come up in the process are documented and finally become plan. Whenever a taxonomy project is short on budget or time, there may be a temptation to skip the governance planning and documentation.

But in the long run, that will definitely cost more. Time will be squandered by the taxonomy editors heading back through old email messages to try to find out what was decided when specific questions emerged up. Taxonomy editors will waste time having to redo a few of their work also, after realizing that they were not following a consistent policy or style.

Finally, and most crucially, lack of governance will likely lead to an inconsistently developed taxonomy, which in turn leads to inconsistent indexing/tagging, no matter the technique used. Then the primary purpose of the taxonomy is defeated. Taxonomy governance may not be as hot a topic as it was a few years ago but that’s only because it is becoming standard, accepted practice. Yet there is still a lot that an organization running a taxonomy can find out about governance in the form of guidelines and case studies. While organizations might not want to share their taxonomies, as intellectual property, hopefully they will share their encounters and tips on taxonomy governance.

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Be cautious in the procedure of the relationship entity. Keep accurate books and records. Do not use partnership assets for non-partnership purposes and do not co-mingle partnership funds or expenses with personal funds or expenses. • Don’t concentrate control in a restricted partner. Be aware of retained voting rights, the right to remove general companions, and rights to amend the agreement. It’s not merely about the percentages. Pay attention to control held in different capacities, for example, individually and as trustee. • Don’t have the senior relative (who in many cases contributes the majority of the assets) serve as the general partner or have control over the general partners.

This is due to control over relationship assets, and the IRS is looking at who determines who gets to enjoy those assets ultimately. When the IRS perceives that the person who contributed those assets also has the right to make these determinations, it could seek to include the partnership assets in that person’s estate, ignoring the discounts thereby.

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Because of it is essential that the individual contributing the majority of the property is more comfortable with that loss of control. • Don’t procrastinate. If you are interested in this kind of planning and have not done so, make your decision. Many FLPs have effectively been attacked by the IRS in situations that included the loss of life of the creator closely after the creation of the relationship. Among the many non-tax reasons to create as FLP is the asset protection includes a limited partner may enjoy. • Don’t believe that your existing relationship has been sufficiently managed simply because the partnership tax return has been filed each year.

The notion of FLPs producing valuation discounts is a popular property planning tool since the late 1980’s. Many partnerships have been created and have operated since that right time. As you’ll be told by any advisor, what may have seemed a proper design feature in 1990 might not be a good idea today. Similarly, income tax returns only typically won’t identify and expose problems in the management of the partnership. Failure to address these issues in many old partnerships will simply provide ample ammunition to the IRS. • Don’t try to take action alone.