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Posts Tagged ‘estate tax’

Myths and Realities about the Estate Tax

PDF of this report (7pp.) The estate tax is a tax on property (cash, real estate, stock, or other assets) transferred from deceased persons to their heirs.  Only the wealthiest estates in the country pay the tax because it is levied only on the portion of an estate’s value that exceeds a specified exemption level, currently $5.25 million per person (effectively $10.5 million per married couple). The estate tax thus limits, to a modest degree, the large tax breaks that extremely wealthy households get on their wealth as it grows, which can otherwise go completely untaxed.  Though the estate tax…

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Obama Budget Proposes Estate Tax Change

Among the revenue-raising proposals in President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget is a return of the estate tax to its 2009 level beginning in 2018.  The White House budget plan also calls for eliminating “a number of loopholes that currently allow wealthy individuals to use sophisticated tax planning to reduce their estate tax liability.” In January, as part of the fiscal cliff deal, Congress set “permanent” estate tax parameters, including a $5 million exemption (now $5.25 million due to inflation) and a 40 percent maximum rate.  Under the President’s proposed budget, the exemption would drop to $3.5 million in 2018…

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Perry and Cain, both contenders in the race to be the next Republican candidate for president, are proposing massive overhauls of the current progressive income-tax

We’ve been glued to the news for the past few years trying to figure out what Congress is going to do next with the Estate Tax. More uncertainty has been the answer. Currently, we are living under an estate tax approach that is due to die on December 31, 2012. What follows is anybody’s guess. Now though, all eyes are on the upcoming presidential election. Accordingly, it is the new crop of candidates we’re watching, and there’s quite a fight brewing.   Both Herman Cain and Rick Perry have come out with massive tax overhaul plans leaving many to wonder…

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If you’re an executor for someone who died in 2010, mark your calendar for January 17, 2012. That’s the new date by which you must now file a key federal tax form.

If your last name is “Steinbrenner,” or you also are the heir to the estate of a decedent who passed in 2010, then you likely know that your assets stand at a crossroads and that the estate executor has a huge choice: to file for the estate tax or not to file? That, is the question. Formerly, the deadline was November 15, 2011, only a couple weeks out. Good news: Now, the deadline has been extended out to January 17, 2012. So, why is there even a choice to file an estate tax return anyway and why might it be…

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IRS Issues Estate Tax Guidance… For 2010 Decedent’s Estates

On August 5, 2011, the IRS published long-awaited guidance for executors of estates of people who died in 2010. Notice 2011-66 explains how these executors can opt out of the estate tax, and Revenue Procedure 2011-41 explains the special tax rules that apply to assets when executors opt out of the estate tax. After a bit of biding our time, we finally have something official with which to work regarding 2010 estate taxes. Nevertheless, there is a bit more waiting to do. The IRS recently published its guidance in the form of Notice 2011-66 and Revenue Procedure 2011-41. As you…

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Potential Portability Problems

Wealthy individuals in the U.S. will find it easier to cut their estate-tax bill as a result of a provision for using their deceased spouses’ exemption credit.

Now is a fantastic time to give shares of a business to family members.

According to most tax experts, now is a fantastic time to give shares of a business to family members. As you may well know (if you follow this blog) 2011 and 2012 are have unique in terms of estate and gift tax planning. As one tax attorney was quoted in a recent New York Times article, “We are in the prime transfer tax situation.” However, having said that, there’s an old saying about not letting the tax tail wag the dog. While now may be the prime opportunity, tax-wise, to give away share of the family business to the next…

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The tax deal reached in December by congressional leaders and the Obama administration is fueling a boost in donations into donor-advised funds.

According to some barometers, there has been a recent surge in charitable giving over these, the first few months of 2011. Apparently, a good number of people have figured out that now is a good time to give. As a recent article on InvestmentNews.com reports, “The Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, the nation's second-largest, collected about $129 million during the first quarter, a 60% in- crease over the same period a year earlier. Donations out of the $4.8 billion fund totaled $87 million, a 31.2% increase from $66 million.” Why the sudden increase? The new tax deal reached in December makes…

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Having enough life and disability insurance should be a key element of your personal financial game plan.

Since most of just finished filing our annual income tax return, we may not be in the mood to further discuss the topic of taxes … unless it’s all about avoiding them. Which is why now is a good time to turn to the topic of life insurance, taxes and your estate plan. The primary purpose of life insurance, for most people, is to replace income that would be lost should you die prematurely. The good news is that life insurance death benefits are generally received by your beneficiaries free of any federal income tax (and usually free of any…

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Advice to baby boomers on spending their $8.4 trillion inheritance.

According to recent research from The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 70% of baby-boomer households will receive inheritances worth a total of $8.4 Trillion. With an average of $300,000 for most inheriting households, and an average of $1.5 million for the wealthiest inheritors, the better part of a generation is expected to see a nice bump in their assets. The question, then, is what to do about it. Ashlea Ebeling of Forbes recently approached the topic with a number of considerations, from warnings to ideas. Consider Keeping it Separate. The first thing to take stock of is how…

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