According to the tax specialists at www.TaxSavingProfessionals.com, Tax Reform efforts in Congress have stalled and there seems to be no immediate push to change the tax code in the near future suggesting that current rates are likely to stay in place for a while. In light of what appears to be a “gridlock” environment in Washington, American Business Owners, High Net-Worth Individuals and High-Income Earners should diligently monitor and assess tax strategies that will relieve excessive tax burdens regularly, and not just before the end of every calendar year or April 15th.
Under current law an estimated 3,800 estates will have to pay estate taxes in 2013 according to the Tax Policy Center. With such a small number of deceased taxpayers subject to the federal estate tax, it is easy to speculate that Congress could move to reduce the exemptions and increase the top tax rates in order to raise revenue. The federal estate tax exemption was supposed to drop significantly from $5,120,000 in 2012 to $1,000,000 in 2013, and the estate tax rate was scheduled to jump from 35% to 55%. Congress and President Obama acted very early in 2013 to pass the American Taxpayer Relief Act which, as mentioned above, has supposedly made the laws permanent for 2013 and beyond.
Congress Needs More Money: They get it from you, the Taxpayer
The news is not new that Congress is in need of more revenue to support the U.S. government’s current spending habits. Thus, in the remaining years of the Obama administration, Congress will be looking for “creative” ways to raise revenue. Since it is very likely that some or even all of these proposals will be included in the ongoing debate over comprehensive tax reform, don’t be surprised if one or more of the proposals discussed below become law in the next few years. Therefore, it is important to keep current on the Obama administration’s revenue-generating proposals and the ongoing discussions about completely overhauling the four-million words Internal Revenue Code in order to avoid being blind-sided by a change that can and will affect estate planning for Americans.
American Business Owners, High Net-Worth Individuals and High-Income Earners Should be Concerned
Based upon these facts (above and those below), it appears as though estate planning is being implemented across most business that have wealth above the $1,000,000 mark and more so for the higher the net worth earners. The one case that brought this to light to not only the rich but to many NFL fans is the estate of Joe Robbie, an attorney and owner of the Miami Dolphins as well as Joe Robbie Stadium in Florida. In this instance, despite his remarkable success as a business man, Mr. Robbie’s estate, upon his death, was actually forced to sell both of these assets to settle a $47 million dollar estate tax. It is likely that both assets in today’s market place could be worth more than a billion dollars.
“Individuals with means, whether a small business owner, a high net worth individual or even a high-income 1099 or even W-2 employee should be aware of these various estate situations,” says Ray Phair, Chief Operating Officer of The Tax Saving Professionals.
“If the tax and estate laws can confound and confuse even the most successful business people, despite the teams of professionals that invariably surround them, we know how the average American feels when trying to figure out simply filing taxes and even more so, the truly complex nature of estate taxes and estate planning,” says Phair, whose company since being founded in 1998 has helped more than 7,000 Americans save an estimated more than half a billion dollars in taxes.
IRS Tax Code = Tax Woes; Quotes from the World’s Most Famous Business People
As noted earlier, the tax code is comprised of more than 4 million words and exceed 75,000 pages. In fact, The Tax Saving Professional’s website (www.TaxSavingProfessionals.com) thematically reflects the overwhelming complexity of how the tax code has evolved over the past century with quotes peppered throughout the site from some of the world’s leading business men and politicians who have bemoaned the difficulties and challenges, Albert Einstein among them, regarding the difficulties of understanding Internal Revenue Code.
The “Tax Meter” is Always Running, High Net Worth Individuals Should Always be Mindful of This
“While it may seem that those with financial means can safely put 2013 behind them, the fact is that the ‘tax meter’ is always running for those in the high income bracket arena,” points out Phair. And even though the calendar year has come to an end, the next tax issue is only just around the corner with the filing of estimated quarterly payments by the end of March. “We help people plan and execute the best tax savings strategies that are possible, not just in the 11th hour,” points out Phair, “such as the end of the calendar year, or just before April 15th, but all year round.”
Here is what is being considered by Congress for 2014.
Be Aware: New Tax Facts for 2014
The tax year 2014 has an increase in estate value to $5,340,000 ($10,680,000 for a married couple!) as a basis, and will continue to be increased according to inflation rates in 2015 and beyond.
In addition, ATRA set the top estate tax, gift tax and generation-skipping transfer tax at 40% and made portability of the estate tax and gift tax exemptions between married couple’s permanent for 2013 and future years.
“While it may seem that those with financial means can safely put 2013 behind them, the fact is that the ‘tax meter’ is always running for those in the high income bracket arena,” points out Phair, “We help people plan and execute the best tax savings strategies that are possible, not just in the 11th hour, such as the end of the calendar year, or just before April 15th, but all year round.”