Eric Co-Authors Article on Proper Tax Reporting of Client Settlements

In February 2015, various members of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Solo/Small Firm attorney listserv discussed the issue of proper tax reporting of client settlements held in trust by an attorney.  The issue arises when a law firm receives a settlement payment from a defendant or a defendant’s insurer payable to the law firm in trust for the client, and deposits the settlement payment into the law firm’s trust account.  After the law firm accounts for fees and costs and issues a check to the client, who is responsible for preparing a Form 1099-MISC to the client?  The defendant or a defendant’s insurer?  The law firm?  Both?  When the listserv discussion did not produce definitive answers to these questions, BASF approached Eric and James W.R. Hastings, a local attorney specializing in tax issues, about co-authoring an article on this issue.  That article was published on the Bar Association of San Francisco’s blog yesterday and is available at

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