Tax Reform Now: Five Actions to Consider Before December 31, 2017

Congress officially passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 20th. Despite conflicting reports on when President Trump will sign the Act, he will sign it. Here are five last-minute actions you should consider for tax planning before the New Year to minimize your 2017 and 2018 tax liability. This article is the first in a series planned to address the numerous changes to tax law imposed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. We strongly recommend you consult with your tax attorneys and tax advisors on the impact of the act on your 2017 taxes and to plan for future years.

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Win Olympic Gold – And Pay for It

Every time the Olympics come around, there’s dozens of articles and posts about how Olympic medals are subject to income tax. The IRS considers all prize winnings, such as gambling or game show prizes, to be income and thus taxable. Olympic medals get lumped into this group (as do the cash bonuses they come with). Luckily for the athletes, their medals are valued at the time they are earned, essentially the value of the materials. A gold medal from Rio is estimated to be worth $564, a silver medal is estimated at $305, and a bronze medal has little intrinsic value. Since Olympic medalists generally treat their sport as a profession the value of the medal and related bonuses are likely to be offset with a deduction for the significant expenses that most athletes incur.

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Happy Birthday – The Estate Tax Turns 100

In 1916, Congress instituted the estate tax to boost U.S. revenues just in case we joined the fight in World War I. At the time, the top rate was 10% and the exemption was $50,000, which meant it affected less than 1% of estates. Proponents of the tax thought it was a reasonable way to raise money while its opponents in Congress thought it was a matter best left to the states.

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IRS Expands Relief for Missed Portability Elections for Surviving Spouses

On January 27, 2014, the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2014-18 which provides a remedy for estate representatives who did not elect to combine the deceased spouse’s unused exclusion amount with the surviving spouse’s exclusion amount in a timely manner. As an example, assume the first spouse died in 2012 with an estate of $2,120,000. The […]

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Oregon Inheritance Tax Return Filing Deadline Extended for Some 2010 Estates

As a result of Congress passing the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 in December 2010, the Oregon Legislature had to act expeditiously to determine which 2010 federal tax changes Oregon would adopt. As part of this review the 2010 Oregon Inheritance Tax return (“OIT return”) filing requirements for some 2010 decedents were changed to follow the federal filing requirements. Thus, if a decedent died after December 31, 2009, and before December 17, 2010, with property taxable in Oregon and a federal estate tax return is required, the due date for the OIT return is extended to the same date the federal estate tax is due.

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The Accidental (Tax-Free) Billionaire

Dan Duncan was the son of an oil-field roughneck. From humble beginnings, Mr. Duncan started his own oil and gas business in 1968 with $10,000 and a truck. Over the years, Duncan grew that business into a prosperous venture which is now known as Enterprise GP Holdings L.P., a publicly traded company (Ticker EPE). At his death […]

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