Fix The Tax Code Friday: Should We Repeal The Federal Estate Tax?

Last week, the House of Representatives voted to kill the federal estate tax with a vote of 240-179 in favor of H.R. 1105. This week, the bill headed to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future. What is certain is that the federal estate tax is unpopular. It’s consistently ranked at the top of … Read more

Admit It: The Clintons Didn’t Do Any Tax Planning You Wouldn’t Do

The headlines are meant to grab your attention: Wealthy Clintons use trusts to avoid full estate tax they back After touting estate tax, Bill and Hillary Clinton seize on loopholes Bill and Hillary Clinton are dodging ‘death tax’ on their homes despite campaigning to raise it Clintons use loophole to avoid estate tax they helped … Read more

House Passes Senate Budget Bill Convincingly: We Have A Tax Deal!

Well, color me surprised. The House voted on the budget after all, and they voted up or down, rather than amending the Senate bill. The House voted “Yea” and they did so quite convincingly (257 YEA to 167 NAY). Here’s what the bill does: Income tax The tax cuts were extended – permanently – for … Read more

IRS Announces Increase In Annual Exclusion For Gifts, Rest Remains A Mystery

Nobody has a crystal ball. I’ve sat through presentation after presentation (and given a couple myself) on the state of the federal estate and gift tax for 2013 and beyond. There are all kinds of theories about what might happen. But the reality is, we know very little. Quite frankly, much of it hinges on … Read more

Federer’s Wimbledon Win Pays Off For Some In Britain

While many across Britain were devastated last week by Roger Federer’s victory at Wimbledon over hometown darling Andy Murray, others had something to celebrate: money for charity. In 2003, Nick Newlife (no, I’m not making up his name) placed a £1,520 bet that Roger Federer would win the Wimbledon crown seven times by the year … Read more

Obama’s Budget Proposal: What’s Old Is New Again

You don’t grow up as a middle child without learning a few tricks of the trade. One of the most notable: if you have something to say that you know won’t go over very well, you wait until there’s a distraction. And with two brothers, there was always a distraction. This week, President Obama (who … Read more

What’s Mine Is Yours: IRS Issues Estate Tax Portability Guidance

Last December, Congress pushed through a whole set of changes meant to make them look good on Election Day things easier for taxpayers. One of the changes was the new portability provision which allows spouses to “share” their federal estate tax exclusion amounts with each other. Each person is allowed an exclusion for federal estate … Read more

IRS Issues Extension For Form Not Yet Available (Thanks?)

If you lost a loved one in 2010, my sympathies are with you. If you lost a loved one in 2010 that might have a taxable estate, my sympathies are really with you. The “surefire vote getting” one year repeal of the federal estate tax for 2010 has turned into one of the biggest administrative … Read more