Category Archives: Estate & Gift Tax

IRS Will Only Issue Estate Tax Closing Letters On Request

The IRS has announced that it will no longer routinely issue estate tax closing letters following the submission of an estate tax return (Form 706, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return). For returns filed on or after June 1, … Continue reading

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Using Trusts – Is a Living Trust Right for You?

Revocable living trusts” have become popular estate planning tools. Whether a living trust is right for you, however, depends on a number of factors. A living trust may benefit you greatly, or you may be worse off with one.

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Avoid Tax When You Sell Appreciated Assets

Charitable trusts let you avoid tax when you sell appreciated assets such as real estate, a business, or securities. This requires splitting the asset into two parts (an income, payable for a term of up to 20 years or a lifetime, … Continue reading

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Avoid Probate on Taxable Assets

“Probate” is the legal process of transferring assets you own at your death to your heirs. This can last up to two years in some states, and involve court costs, attorneys’ and executors’ fees (often fixed as a percentage of the … Continue reading

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How Section 529 Plans Can Help With Your College Savings

These days saving for college can be harder than saving for retirement. Consider Section 529 Plans which offers various tax advantages. Section 529 Plans are state-sponsored college savings plans that allow you to set aside money for your child’s education … Continue reading

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Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Supreme Court Ruling

In one of its most highly anticipated decisions, the Supreme Court by a margin of 5 to 4 has struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which required same-sex spouses to be treated as unmarried for … Continue reading

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Estate Portability Made Permanent

Prior to 2011, if a person passed away with less than the amount of estate exclusion amount any unused portion of the exemption was lost. Starting in 2011, Congress allowed those people who passed away with less than the estate … Continue reading

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Estate Tax Rate Raised to 40%

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 not only made the estate and gift tax exemption amount permanent and indexed,but it also increased the maximum tax rate that is applied to excess transfers. The Act changes the top rate to … Continue reading

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Estate Tax Exemption Made Permanent and Indexed

With the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Congress made the exemption amount for estate, gift and generation skipping tax permanently set at $5 million.  The $5 million is indexed for inflation starting in 2013. We project … Continue reading

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Interest runs from due date of unreported gift

It is not uncommon for our clients to come to us long after they made gifts to their children or others.  They usually do not mention it, I think, because they believe it is under the total exemption amount (currently … Continue reading

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