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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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By Keith Grissom on April 12, 2016 at 8:53 AM

Your mobile phone rings showing a number from Washington, D.C. You answer and the voice on the other end says: “This is Mr. James, agent number 5706 with the Internal Revenue Service. You owe a significant amount in back taxes. We are preparing to bring criminal charges against you that may result in jail time unless you pay immediately. How would you like to pay? Credit card, prepaid card or wire transfer …”

How do you respond?

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