Estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax changes

Here’s a look at how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is going to impact the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes. Estate and gift tax The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) increased the estate and gift tax exemption amount (the “unified credit”) for 2018 to $11,200,000 per person. A married couple …

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Deadline near to make (very) late portability elections

Earlier this summer, the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2017-34 which granted a permanent automatic extension for the time to file an estate tax return in order to elect portability of the decedent’s unused exclusion amount (DSUE). It also created an additional temporary opportunity to make very late portability elections for decedents who died after December …

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Gift tax exclusion, estate and gift exemption rise in 2018

The IRS announced in Revenue Procedure 2017-58 that the gift tax exclusion will rise to $15,000 in 2018. The 2017 exclusion of $14,000 has been in place since 2013. Using the annual gift tax exclusion, in 2018 any person can gift up to $15,000 to another person without using any of his/her lifetime estate and …

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Lifetime gifts v bequests after death

The White House’s proposed tax reform plan includes repealing the estate tax. However, the “plan” is a one page outline with a bullet point simply stating “Repeal the death tax.” There are no details as to when this will occur. Moreover, the repeal could be short lived. As we saw back in 2010, the estate …

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Did you make a taxable gift recently?

First, what’s a gift? A gift in tax code parlance is a transfer of property or money to another individual without receiving “full” consideration in return. You can gift directly or in “trust”. So what constitutes a taxable gift? Gift tax is owed when you gift “too much” to other persons since gift tax is …

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Preventing and reporting elder financial abuse

Elder financial abuse is a growing problem. In an earlier blog, I provided information about the reasons elder financial abuse has increased and “red flags” that may indicate abuse has occurred. In this blog, I provide information about preventing elder financial abuse and reporting it if it has already occurred. Ideally, financial elder abuse would …

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Trustees managing taxes? Use the 65 day rule

Trustees trying to manage the tax burden of a complex trust should be familiar with the 663(b) election, also known as the 65 day rule. Making this election can often help to lower the overall tax burden of the trust and its individual beneficiaries. Trusts pay tax at the highest tax rate of 39.6% when …

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Estate, Gift Tax Exemption Expected to Rise in 2017

While the IRS has not yet released the new amounts for 2017, Thomson Reuters has calculated the unified estate tax exclusion for decedents dying in 2017 and the gift tax lifetime exclusion for 2017 will rise to $5,490,000. This is a small increase of $40,000 from the 2016 amount of $5,450,000. The 2017 gift tax …

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An Easier, Cheaper 60 Day Rollover Waiver

The IRS has had a major change of heart that is good for taxpayers. They recently issued Revenue Procedure 2016-47 which established a “self-certification” procedure enabling a taxpayer to complete a retirement plan rollover (despite missing the 60-day deadline) by certifying to the administrator of the recipient plan or IRA that the deadline was missed …

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Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Accounts

Think about the number of online accounts you have. There are social media accounts, financial accounts, e-mail accounts, cloud storage accounts, membership or professional accounts, music accounts and many others. Online accounts require less physical storage space, allow the user to access the account anywhere he or she has an internet connection and sometimes even …

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