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2017 Federal Tax Inflation Adjustments

Each year, the IRS makes inflation adjustments to numerous thresholds, exemptions, exclusions, and other amounts that affect various tax calculations under the Internal Revenue Code. For example, annual inflation adjustments apply to the standard deductions available to taxpayers for income tax purposes, the filing thresholds for each income tax bracket, the amount available for annual … Continue Reading

IRS Defines ‘Spouse,’ ‘Husband,’ ‘Wife,’ and ‘Marriage’ for Tax Purposes

The IRS recently issued final regulations, effective as of Sept. 2, 2016, providing gender-neutral definitions of “spouse,” “husband,” and “wife,” and clarifying the definition of “marriage” for federal income, transfer, and employment tax purposes. Under the new final regulation section 301.7701-18(c), a marriage (same-sex or opposite-sex) will be recognized for federal tax purposes if it is … Continue Reading

Bill to Simplify State Tax Withholding on Mobile Workers Passes House

A bill that would simplify state income tax compliance for employers when they send employees on temporary assignment to another state passed the House on Sept. 21. Many state government interests oppose the bill, so its future in the Senate is uncertain. Employers face a major state tax compliance headache when they send an employee on … Continue Reading

Trusts Can Provide Benefits Even for the Most Financially Savvy

In planning for the next generation, many parents struggle with the decision of whether to transfer property to their children outright or in trust.  Some feel that transferring property outright is the best option when the beneficiary is competent (i.e., mature, intelligent, financially savvy, and capable of managing money and making investment decisions).  A beneficiary … Continue Reading

Portability of the Estate and Gift Tax Exclusion – How Does it Work?

Portability refers to the ability of a surviving spouse, to make use of a deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exclusion amount (DSUE amount).  Portability was intended to simplify estate planning for married couples by eliminating the need for a bypass trust.  However, in order to preserve the DSUE amount the surviving spouse must comply with … Continue Reading

Bill to Bar Air Excise Tax on Aircraft Management Fees Clears House Ways and Means Committee

A bill that would exempt aircraft management fees from the federal air transportation excise tax is advancing in the House — good news for aircraft owners who use a leasing company structure to save on state sales tax when purchasing aircraft. The bill (H.R. 3608) clarifies that fees paid to an aircraft services company to … Continue Reading

Minimize the Pain of Estate Planning in Five Steps

Estate plans are essential to minimizing conflict, protecting families, and providing financial security during incapacity or after death. While many find estate planning an unpleasant topic, taking the following steps can help minimize the pain of the process. STEP 1:  OUTLINE YOUR PLAN At a basic level, every estate plan should consider the following fundamental … Continue Reading

Planning for the PC Child

Advancements in reproductive science are creating complications when it comes to inheritance rights of children, specifically posthumously conceived (PC) children.  Such complications have resulted in a number of recent court cases and amendments to state law.  How are children defined under your legacy planning documents?  It may be worthwhile to take a more careful look. … Continue Reading

When a Fiduciary is Personally Liable for Unpaid Taxes

Although many people name family and friends as trustees or personal representatives in their legacy plan, it’s probably safe to assume that the people being appointed don’t have an understanding of the high level of responsibility inherent in carrying out their fiduciary duties.  One of the greatest fiduciary responsibilities is payment of a trust’s or … Continue Reading

Thinking of Expatriating? You May Be Leaving More Behind Than You Expected

U.S. citizens and long-term permanent residents who are considering relinquishing their U.S. citizenship or long-term permanent residency in the U.S. have more than just the exit tax imposed under Code § 877A to consider – they must also consider the impact the expatriation will have on their U.S. family members and other intended U.S. beneficiaries.  … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Attends Washington Women’s Leadership Initiative (WWLI) Leadership Series

Greenberg Traurig Attorneys, Nataliya Dominguez, Rebecca Manicone, and Ashley Sawyer attended the recent WWLI.org and W@CEB Authentic Leadership series at the CEB Headquarters in Arlington, VA.  The WWLI invited Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of New America and the first woman to serve as director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department, as the … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Webinar – What’s Trending?

Greenberg Traurig Tax & Business Group attorneys, Jonathan Forster and Todd Steinberg, hosted a webinar on important recent developments in the estate planning marketplace.  Forster and Steinberg reviewed the latest on the Morrissette case (the very first reported generational split dollar tax court case), the settlement of Woelbing (the latest seminal case involving installment sales to grantor trusts), … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Presents At The AALU Annual Meeting During The Washington Report Marketplace LIVE! Session

Greenberg Traurig attorneys Jonathan Forster, Rebecca Manicone, and Richard Sirus presented today at the Association of Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU) Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.  Roughly 900 members and guests attended this session to listen to Forster, Manicone, and Sirus provide a review of hot estate planning and employee benefits topics from popular WRMarketplace reports.  … Continue Reading

Estate and Asset Protection Planning for Special Needs

Although important for all families, estate planning is critical for those with a special needs child or spouse.  Eligibility for means-tested government benefits could be jeopardized by leaving an improperly structured inheritance to a special needs person.  Consequently, finding a way to provide for special needs family members without interference with eligibility for government assistance … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Webinar – 2016 Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning: Key Take-Aways

Greenberg Traurig Tax & Business Group attorneys Jonathan Forster and Todd Steinberg, along with AALU Director of Public Policy, David Hollingsworth, hosted the 2016 Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning webinar.  Hollingsworth provided the political and legislative update and discussed the challenges facing the insurance industry. Forster discussed what is trending  in the marketplace, including rising interest … Continue Reading

Where’s the Money – Stop Your Heirs from Squandering Their Inheritance

Individuals from around the world at all levels of affluence share a common concern: how to pass on their family wealth and have it last for multiple generations without spoiling or disincentivizing their children and beneficiaries. Although the focus in wealth transfer planning has traditionally been on wealth creators and tax planning, it is now … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Sponsors the 26th Annual MusiCares Event

Greenberg Traurig recently sponsored the 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Lionel Richie. The MusiCares Foundation, Inc. provides assistance to musicians in time of financial, personal or medical crisis.  This year, MusiCares honored Lionel Richie for his significant creative accomplishments as well as his charitable work. More than 2,000 guests, including legendary recording artists … Continue Reading

IRS Says Aircraft Leasing Entity is Eligible for 1031 Tax Free Exchange Treatment Despite Leasing to Related Companies at No Profit

We previously wrote about how a recently passed Texas bill (S.B. 1396) will allow certain in-state aircraft purchases to qualify for a resale exemption from sales tax, with the tax instead applied to later leasing contract payments. Now, a new IRS Chief Counsel memo says that an aircraft leasing partnership that trades in an aircraft that … Continue Reading

Tired of Your Tax Bill? Consider Charitable Planning.

If the thought of filing your income tax return brings you an intense feeling of dread, it may be time to consider leveraging charitable giving to purposefully mitigate your tax exposure during a high-income year. Charitable lead annuity trusts, private foundations, and donor advised funds are three legacy planning techniques which may help you to … Continue Reading
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