Tax Reform

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Trump Tax Reform Update #7

Just prior to Christmas, President Trump signed into law the most significant federal tax legislation in over thirty years.  It is important to note that the Tax and Jobs Act of 2017 does not repeal the federal estate tax.  However, the new law does provide a temporary opportunity for anyone who dies prior to the end of 2025.  As a result of this temporary opportunity, over the next few months, many taxpayers will be utilizing strategies to advance their estate planning goals by exploiting the new tax legislation’s generous terms.

Read more . . .

Monday, December 4, 2017

Trump Tax Reform Update #6

Readers of our updates will recall that months ago we predicted the Republican congress would likely use reconciliation to pass tax reform/tax cuts. Clearly the recent senate budget vote sets up precisely this scenario. In late September, the senate agreed on draft a budget that would allow for $1.5 million in tax cuts over the next decade. Ways & Means Chairman, Kevin Brady (R-Tx) said he will release the text of a tax bill as soon as the budget is "signed, sealed and delivered." It is widely expected that a mark-up will soon follow.

Read more . . .

Friday, May 5, 2017

Trump Tax Reform Update #5

Takeaways from Trump Tax Reform Update #5

  • Trump and key Republicans still focused on Obama Care repeal
  • Mixed signals – but consensus seems to indicate no tax reform before September
  • Secretary Mnuchin  tells Financial Times August goal for tax reform is “highly aggressive to not realistic at this point”.
  • President Trump says, ‘we’re going to surprise you’ with speed of tax reform, but need healthcare fix first.
  • “and the beat goes on…”

Read more . . .

Monday, April 3, 2017

Trump Tax Reform Update #4

Takeaways from Trump Tax Reform Update #4

  • Legislative loss on healthcare may make tax reform even more difficult
  • Chairman Brady, House Ways & Means says his committee will go BIG on tax reform, not just tinker with tax laws
  • Offsets to tax reductions which will bring revenue into the government may be more important than ever, Republicans look for ways to replace the $1 Trillion they hoped to get in revenue savings under repeal of Obama care
  • Look for discussions on new tax basis rules and possible new capital gains tax on death
  • Expect new legislation to be done under reconciliation with perhaps a 10 year sunset

Read more . . .

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Trump Tax Reform Update #3

As discussed in our DLF Estate Tax Repeal Update #2, many estate plans utilize a Family or Bypass Trust along with a Marital or Spousal Trust.  Due to the use of “formula funding language” used by most if not almost all estate planners over the last sixteen years or so, the repeal of the estate tax could result in all the assets of the decedent being funded into the Family or Bypass Trust.  The problem is, unless that Bypass Trust allows for distributions to the surviving spouse, the widow or widower of the decedent could be left with little or no assets.  Of course, there are many other potential unintended consequences if the estate tax is repealed, or if rules on income and capital gains taxes are substantially changed, which will cause many taxpayers to look to amendment or in some extreme cases even termination of their trusts.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Trump Tax Reform Update # 2

One of the issues that we see with the discussion of the proposed Trump Tax Reforms is that many clients assume that Tax Reform will mean lower taxes.  If Trump and the Republicans lower taxes, how could that be a bad thing?  Under all circumstances, wouldn’t lower taxes have a positive impact on all taxpayers? And isn’t that especially true for affluent tax payers? As any student of tax law in the United States can attest, tax reform doesn’t always mean lower taxes for all and of course, in the past, tax reform has led to some unintended consequences.

Read more . . .

Monday, January 16, 2017

Trump Tax Reform Update # 1

Early in 2017, President-Elect Trump will be taking office with a large majority of Republicans in the House (235 to 191) and a majority of Republicans in the Senate (51 to 47).  One major focus of the new administration will be tax reform.

What exactly will the new tax legislation look like? At this point, there are more questions than answers: Will the Republicans be able to pass what they want in the way of tax reform or will the Democrats block or modify the changes.  Exactly what specific terms and policies do the Republicans want to accomplish in their tax reform? Are there differences between the designs of the Congressional Republicans and the new president on what new tax reforms should look like? Will the Republicans modify their goals in tax reform in order to get at least some support from the Democrats in Congress? How will the tax reforms coordinate with efforts to balance the budget and hopefully not add to the already staggering federal deficit? How will potential tax reform be impacted by other administration priorities like repeal of the healthcare law, illegal immigration, major infrastructure projects, etc.?

Read more . . .

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

President Obama’s Tax Plan for 2013

Published by the Department of the Treasury in February of 2012, the General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2013 Revenue Proposals (the so-called “Greenbook”) outlines the Administration’s specific policy positions on tax for 2013.  Given the upcoming election and the scheduled sunset of the recently extended Bush-era tax cuts, the 2013 Greenbook takes on particular significance for those individuals and families that are considering estate planning issues.

Read more . . .

Friday, March 23, 2012

Paul Ryan’s New Tax Plan

Paul Ryan and the Republican party cite coming debt crises as necessity for major tax changes.  Democrats react with charges that the Republican budget proposal hurts seniors without focus on revising or eliminating the tax breaks for the wealthy.

Ryan’s plan sets discretionary spending at $1.028 trillion for FY 2013.  This budget is approximately $19 billion less than the spending cap agreed to by President O’Bama and the Republican party on the deal to raise the national debt ceiling.
Read more . . .

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Obama Tax Law

President Obama signed the “Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010” yesterday December 17, 2010.

Key points of the New Tax Law:

  • $5 Million Dollar Exemption for Estates
  • $5 Million Dollar Exemption for Lifetime Gifts
  • $5 Million Dollar Exemption for Generation Skipping Transfers
  • Portability of the Estate Tax Exemption for married couples

Read more . . .

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

States to Lose Revenue Under Obama – Republican Tax Deal

One aspect of the Estate Tax Deal which passed its first legislative hurdle in the Senate last night is the loss of potential revenue to the States.

California could lose as much as $2.7 Billion due to the change in the Estate Tax Law according to a Bloomberg.com report dated 12/14/10.

Under the current law, the Estate Tax would allow for a $1 Million Dollar Exclusion in 2011, and any amount over that would be taxed at 55%.

Read more . . .

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