Archive for the ‘estate tax’ Category

The Demise of Estate Tax Planning

A fascinating story in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal reports what I suppose was an inevitable trend: With the estate tax exemption now up to $5.25 million ($10.5 million for couples) estate tax lawyers are running out of work. So, writes the Journal’s Arden Dale, they are turning to income tax planning for high-net worth clients. The Tax […]

What Will Supreme Court Decision on DOMA Mean for the IRS?

I’m celebrating today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) with my friends and relatives whose marriages are today, finally, accorded equal status to mine. But I am a tax geek and couldn’t help but think about the consequences of a hundred thousand or so married couples who will now file joint […]

DOMA’s Demise and Federal Taxes

Same-sex couples are cheering the Supreme Court’s striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but the tax consequences are more of a mixed bag. For many couples, federal recognition of same-sex marriages will mean lower tax bills, but some gay couples will end up paying more. As I discussed here a few months back, […]

Same-Sex Couples and Taxes

The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was not primarily a tax law but it certainly affects the federal taxes that same-sex couples pay. In fact, taxes are the basis for the second of the two cases concerning same-sex marriage that the Supreme Court will hear this week. Although the federal government generally recognizes state […]

Finally, a Permanent Estate Tax, Though Just for the Wealthy Few

After more than a decade of nearly constant change, the federal estate tax is finally permanent. It’s a bit more onerous than last year’s version but still only a shadow of its former self. New tables from the Tax Policy Center show that in 2013, just 3,800 estates—fewer than one in 700—will owe the tax. […]

Give Now or Pay Later: The Ever-Changing Estate and Gift Tax

For over a decade, the federal estate and gift tax has been in constant flux with its exemption rising, its rates falling, and its near-death experience in 2010 followed by resurrection in a reduced state. Now Congress once again has to decide what to do about these levies, which affect relatively few taxpayers but get an […]

Will States Tumble Over the Fiscal Cliff Too?

As Congress and President Obama continue to spar over how to avoid the looming fiscal cliff, most public attention has been focused on what tumbling over the edge would mean for the federal budget and the national economy. But the tremendous uncertainty over the threat of tax increases and cuts in federal spending could cause […]

The Coming Flood of Estate Tax Returns

 Fewer than 3,300 estates will owe federal estate tax this year, the smallest number in more than 75 years (other than 2010 when the tax disappeared for the year). But, paradoxically, even as Congress shrinks the number of taxable estates, the law also encourages many more estates to file returns—even if they owe no tax. […]

How Michele Bachmann Would Knock 20,000 Millionaires off the Tax Rolls

In a revealing interview with Steve Moore of The Wall Street Journal, Representative Michele Bachmann(R-MN) called for repealing taxes on capital gains. She also said she strongly believes that everyone should pay some income tax. This got me wondering: What would happen to the number of non-payers if the GOP presidential hopeful got her wish […]

Johnny Depp and the New Tax Law

When the President signs the big tax deal later today, will he be cutting income taxes for most families or sparing them a tax hike? Will he be slashing the estate tax or resurrecting it? Those questions have a clear answer in the official budget world: the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation […]