IRS Allows Extension for Small Estates that Want Portability

Every U.S. person has a lifetime exclusion from federal estate and gift taxes.  The 2010 Tax Relief Act created the “deceased spousal unused exclusion amount” (DSUEA). (See separate article describing the DSUEA here.)  For a surviving spouse, the DSUEA is … read more

New Estate Planning Dilemma: Portability or a Credit Shelter Trust

The estate planning landscape radically changed when the Tax Relief Act of 2010 authorized estates of decedents dying after 2010 to elect to transfer any unused exclusion to the surviving spouse and when the act drastically raised the exclusion amount … read more

Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough

The IRS is singing Michael Jackson’s 1979 hit “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” all the way to U.S. Tax Court as they file documents claiming Michael Jackson’s estate has severely undervalued his image and music catalog on his Federal … read more

Congress Saves the Estate Tax Exemption

After months of uncertainty, Congress rode to the rescue in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and made the estate tax exemption $5,000,000 adjusted for inflation from 2011.  This sets the exemption amount at $5,250,000 for estates of decedents … read more

$5,120,000 Lifetime Exemption – Use it or Lose it (Maybe)

There are less than two months to go before 2012 ends.  And with that may end the opportunity to give away $5,120,000 in assets tax free.  Next year, the top estate and gift tax rate will be 55% and the … read more

Draft Gift Tax Return for 2012 has New Schedule for Portability Exclusion

The IRS has released draft Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, and its instructions for gifts made during 2012. The new draft form includes the portability election and other changes made by the Tax Relief Act … read more

Annual Gift Tax Exclusion Rises in 2013 and Other Coming Estate Tax Changes

As the end of 2012 approaches, uncertainty regarding the 2013 estate and gift tax law has caused confusion for our clients. One thing is certain however, the gift tax annual exclusion will be $14,000 for 2013. This is a $1,000 … read more

Inherited IRA’s…No 60 Day Rollover Window!

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s) have many rules and the penalties for failing to follow the rules can be painful. The taxpayer Elizabeth Beech found this out the hard way. Elizabeth Beech inherited an IRA from her deceased mother.  In 2008, … read more

Is Your Gift Taxable? – Eight Guidelines

If you gave money or property to someone as a gift, you may owe federal gift tax. Many gifts are not subject to the gift tax, but there are exceptions. Here are eight tips provided by the IRS that you … read more

What Are the Pros/Cons of Selling Gifted Property?

Consider the following questions: • Does the property provide a good yield? • How does this property fit into my investment portfolio? • What are the short and long term market outlooks for this property? • Do you need the money? • Has the property … read more


There is nothing more complex than the world of taxes. We know this and yet we chose careers where we face these issues everyday. We get questions day in and day out about new tax laws, forms and news items and how they affect everyday people and businesses. Well, here at Henry & Horne we have set out to do what we do best; help everyday people understand what is going on in the world of state, local, federal, estate and international taxation. We will provide these weekly posts and we encourage you to give us feedback on those posts as well as letting us know what else you would like to know more about. Welcome to "Tax Insights." We hope you find this blog informative and worthy of your time.

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