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By Keith Grissom on September 29, 2017 at 2:32 PM

Metal wheel with the words "tax reform" on itThe Trump Administration, along with the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Ways and Means, on Sept. 27, 2017, released the “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code.” The framework is a consolidation of earlier proposals including the 2018 budget plan and the one-page memo previously released, as well as the Tax Reform Tax Force Blueprint released by House Republicans in 2016.

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By Garrett Reuter, Jr., Keith Grissom on September 27, 2017 at 11:52 AM

Toy house sitting on top of a calculator with a pencil and papers next to it.In many cases, determining the beneficiaries of your estate plan is simple. If your spouse survives you, your assets go to your spouse. If your spouse doesn’t survive you, your assets are split equally among your children. But choosing who will ultimately receive your assets and in what proportions is only part of the process. Another part of it is deciding how the beneficiaries receive those assets.

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By Keith Grissom on June 1, 2017 at 3:54 PM

Question mark surrounded by dollar symbolsOn May 23, 2017, the Trump administration released its fiscal year 2018 budget, titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness.” In it, the administration provides another glimpse at its intentions regarding the future of the estate tax.

In the section titled “How to Make Things Right: New Policies for Jobs and Growth and New Spending Priorities,” it provides, in part, that,

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By Keith Grissom on March 20, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Clock with words "tax time"As a result of legislation enacted in 2015, the filing deadlines for certain tax returns due in 2017 have changed. Congress included tax return due date legislation as a revenue provision in the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015. The legislation, signed into law in July 2015, made changes to certain tax return due dates generally effective for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2015, making the changes applicable to 2016 tax returns filed in 2017.

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By Keith Grissom on February 1, 2017 at 8:53 AM

Handwritten "Q&A"Q: What do you think about the future of the estate tax now that Trump is president? I heard one of his proposals was to eliminate the estate tax. Do I need to even be concerned with estate tax planning going forward?

A: I understand your concern. President Trump’s tax reform proposal, as described on his campaign website, stated that, “The Trump Plan will repeal the death tax, but capital gains held until death and valued over $10 million will be subject to tax to exempt small businesses and family farms. To prevent abuse, contributions of appreciated assets into a private charity established by the decedent or the decedent’s relatives will be disallowed.”

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By Keith Grissom on January 26, 2017 at 9:23 AM

Businesswoman stacking coinsThe following is a general overview of the estate, gift, generation-skipping transfer (GST) and basic income tax rates for 2017.

Estate tax: Generally, a person dying between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017, may be subject to an estate tax, with an applicable exclusion amount of $5.49 million (increased from $5.45 million in 2016). The top marginal rate remains 40 percent.

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By Keith Grissom on September 20, 2016 at 12:50 PM

Estate planning for closely held business interests is trickier than you might thinkThe first step in a well-developed estate plan is to have a solid foundation with documents in place — including, for example, a revocable trust, pour-over will, powers of attorney and medical directive. The next step, and perhaps the most critical, is making sure assets are properly titled or proper beneficiary designations are in place so the overall plan is achieved.

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By Keith Grissom on August 11, 2016 at 9:45 AM

Casket with flowersHave you considered who will have control of your body after death? In some instances, the disposition of remains may work out as planned even if the default rules set by state statute apply. In other instances, while you may hope to be dust in the wind, you may instead be pushing up daisies.

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By Keith Grissom on June 28, 2016 at 9:51 AM

As discussed in an earlier post, trusts and estates may be subject to a 3.8 percent tax on net investment income over certain threshold amounts. Net investment income may include trade or business income from passive activities — those in which the taxpayer does not “materially participate,” according to Section 469 of the code. So, the determination of whether a trust or trustee materially participates may decide whether the income is passive, and consequently, subject to the net investment income tax, or NIIT. 

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By Keith Grissom on June 16, 2016 at 1:36 PM

To help fund the Affordable Care Act, a 3.8 percent net investment income tax took effect in 2013. The tax, known as the NIIT, is imposed against individuals, trusts and estates on non-business income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, rents and capital gains above certain thresholds. 

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