Impact of Potential Tax Reform on Business Owners and Possible Steps to Take in 2017

By Edwin P. Morrow III, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), CFP®, CM&AA® On November 2, 2017, the Speaker of the House, with the backing of the President, finally introduced the long-awaited bill that represents Republican efforts at comprehensive tax reform, to be titled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”. Of course, the Senate will propose significant changes, and there is opposition from both parties about the direction of the bill and the trillions it could add to the national debt. That said, there is a very strong chance of something close to the bill being passed this year or early next year. What are…

Crowdsource Funding to Help Victims of the Las Vegas Massacre

By Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP, JD, Bernard A. Krooks, JD, CPA, LLM (Taxation), CELA, AEP® (Distinguished)., and Jonathan G. Blattmachr, Esq. Introduction One of the authors just received a call to assist those helping one of the hundreds of victims of the Las Vegas shooting with some questions concerning a crowdfunding effort. What initially seemed like a simple question, which that might help one victim struggling with unfathomable challenges, following an equally unfathomable mass shooting, grew into something more. The questions grew and it became clear that they may affect the hundreds of victims of the Las…

Hard to Figure: The Critical Importance of Current Continuous Estate Planning

By Jonathan G. Blattmachr, Esq. & Martin M. Shenkman, CPA/PFS, AEP (Distinguished), MBA, J.D. Reproduced with Permission by and Courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI). For information about how to subscribe to LISI, click here.   “The ‘politics’ of the estate tax have been unstable for a long time. That certainly is the case now.  Regardless of whether the estate tax is repealed next year, it might well return by reason of a sunset provision or a change in control of the White House and Congress.  Unless a client is certain to die while the estate tax is not…

Trump Wins: A Brave New World for Estate Planners

By Jonathan G. Blattmachr, Esq. & Martin M. Shenkman, CPA/PFS, AEP (Distinguished), MBA, J.D. Reproduced with Permission by and Courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI). For information about how to subscribe to LISI, click here. “The election of Donald J. Trump as our 45th President was largely unexpected. It is difficult to forecast what that will mean during his term, and, perhaps, his second term. However, he has proposed wide-ranging changes to the nation’s tax system which will affect virtually all Americans and their advisors. Estate planners in particular face a dramatic impact on their practices.” EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The…

ABA Heckerling Reports from the 2016 Heckerling Institute

For the past 17 years, the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law with the permission of the University of Miami School of Law, releases several extensive reports highlighting the various lectures and proceedings of the Heckerling Institute, one of the nation’s largest estate planning conferences, held every year in January. This past January 2016, marked the 50th Annual Heckerling Institute.  To view, download and access these extensive reports, please click here to visit the ABA’s website. Further, at the above website, you can also access reports from prior Heckerling Institutes as well. We, at The…

Are You Aware Decanting Causes Tax Issues?

Download Printable Article By Robert S. Keebler, CPA/PFS, MST, AEP (Distinguished), CGMA Decanting is the act of distributing the assets of an old trust to a new one with more favorable terms. It provides an easy, inexpensive method for correcting errors or ambiguities, adapting a trust to changes in a settlor’s objectives or changes in a beneficiary’s circumstances, taking advantage of new planning opportunities or adding flexibility to a trust. However, because trust decanting is a relatively new estate planning strategy, its tax consequences have not yet been clearly established. The IRS is considering ways to address these tax consequences…

Our Top 10 Best Articles on Tax & IRA Planning

As part of our December 2014 Newsletter, we are featuring a special “Best Of” issue.  Below, you will find a list of our Top 10 Articles on Tax and IRA Planning.  All of these articles were authored and written by Robert S. Keebler, CPA, PFS, MST, AEP (Distinguished), CGMA. Beneficiary Designation Problems with IRAs: More Than Just the RMD Rules! (with Kristen M. Lynch, J.D., AEP, CISP, CTFA) PLR Opens Door to Post-Death Exchanges of Non-Qualified Annuities Tax-Free! (with Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL) Frank Aragona Trust: What Now Constitutes Trustee “Material Participation”? Understanding…

2014 Year-End Tax Planning

By Robert S. Keebler, CPA/PFS, MST, AEP (Distinguished), CGMA As we near the end of 2014, year-end tax planning again takes center stage. In this article we summarize a number of strategies that may produce substantial tax savings with just some year-end tax planning. Making Trust Distributions The tax brackets for trusts are much more compressed compared to the brackets for individuals. This suggests, if the governing instrument allows it, that trustees should consider making discretionary distributions of income to beneficiaries at the end of 2014 to reduce tax rates. Harvesting Ordinary Income Harvesting ordinary income is another part of…

Year-End Gain Harvesting May Create Impressive Tax Savings, But Be Careful!

By Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, AEP (Distinguished) Bracket management has always been an important part of income tax planning. As we noted in our May newsletter, however, the 3.8% Medicare Surtax and higher tax rates make it even more important in 2013. We listed the following strategies that taxpayers can use to avoid the surtax and stay out of the higher tax brackets: (1) Income smoothing CRTs; (2) income shifting CRTs; (3) using NIMCRUTS as a substitute for or supplement to a retirement plan; (4) CLATs; (5) Life Insurance; (6) deferred annuities; (7) installment sales; (8) managing IRA distributions;…

Teleconference On 709 Preparation HUGE Success!

Earlier today, we had almost 100 people attend our popular educational program entitled, “The Ins & Outs of Correct 709 Prep“. It is very clear that this is an area that many estate planners want further guidance on how to properly plan and prepare the gift tax return. Here are what just a couple of people had to say about today’s program: “Very good session on a most-confusing area!” – D. Zanish, CPA “Excellent, as always!” – C. Boomgarden, CPA Still a popular area, we will be looking to put together another program with either further in-depth discussion on the…