Estate Tax

2014 Tax Changes

Posted on: November 3rd, 2014
As we are in the final quarter of 2013, our North Carolina tax attorneys are taking a look ahead at what the New Year brings for American taxpayers:...

Repeal of the Permanent Federal Estate Tax?

Posted on: July 12th, 2014
The federal estate tax was made permanent as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act. (A few months after ATRA passed, Obama’s 2013 Budget Proposal moved to revert the “permanent” estate tax to 2009 terms.)...

Tax Planning for 2015

Posted on: March 20th, 2014
Retirement accounts, estate plans, and trusts may be impacted by possible federal tax law changes next year in 2015. While the current configuration of Congress makes these changes unlikely, reviewing possible future changes can help individuals make effective planning decisions now....

NC Tax Questions for Same-Sex Marriages

Posted on: February 6th, 2014
Same-sex marriages are not legal in North Carolina, however same-sex couples who reside in North Carolina and were legally married in a jurisdiction that recognizes these marriages may have questions about North Carolina taxes....

What Happened to the Estate Tax Exclusion Portability Deadline?

Posted on: February 5th, 2014
Estates who have not yet filed a federal estate tax return (IRS Form 706) electing portability now have a new deadline to file election of portability. ...

Repeal of the North Carolina Estate Tax?

Posted on: February 26th, 2013
Recently we wrote about North Carolina potentially joining several other states that are repealing state estate tax (or “death tax”). Last week, the North Carolina House Finance Committee approved repeal of the state’s death tax. ...

North Carolina’s Estate Tax: Dying Out?

Posted on: February 14th, 2013
Most of the country’s attention has been on federal estate tax changes made by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. ...

2013 Estate and Gift Tax Exemption Set at $5.25M

Posted on: January 1st, 2013
Just over a week since tax legislation changes were made in the last-minute fiscal cliff deal, the Internal Revenue Service has confirmed the 2013 applicable exclusion amount (gift and estate tax exemption) will be $5.25 million....

9 Steps (Days) Away From the Fiscal Cliff – EIN Problems Too

Posted on: December 22nd, 2012
Congress has failed to avert the fiscal cliff. We have only nine days until the estate tax exemption drops to $1 million (and the rate goes up to 55%). Not to mention the income tax increases. ...

IRS May Allow Late Filing Relief for 706 for Portability

Posted on: December 8th, 2012
According to Robert Keebler, CPA, the IRS may allow a late filed Federal Estate Tax Return, Form 706, if the only reason for filing the return is for the surviving spouse to claim the deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption. The current exemption is $5 million, but it is scheduled to reduce to $1 million in 2013....

Now is the Time to Consider Tax Issues as 2013 Draws Near

Posted on: November 21st, 2012
A recent press briefing with Press Secretary Jay Carney touched on tax issues that will affect every American in 2013. Right now, Americans are ill-prepared for the approaching drop off the “fiscal cliff.” As tax cuts are about to expire in the New Year, how will individuals be affected?...

How to Determine Date of Death Values

Posted on: November 20th, 2012
When administering an estate, determining the date of death values of the decedent’s assets is essential. Filing federal and state estate tax returns and paying any taxes due can only be done when the value of all the decedent’s property is known. ...

Pay Gift and Estate Taxes Online

Posted on: September 7th, 2012
The IRS charges hefty penalties for failure to timely pay taxes. Just like with the failure to file penalties, the failure to file penalty is 5% per month, with a maximum of 25%. ...

IRS Releases Draft 2012 Estate Tax Return

Posted on: August 20th, 2012
The IRS has released a draft 2012 Form 706, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return dated August 16, 2012. ...

Higher Taxes are on the Horizon – 10 Planning Tips

Posted on: July 30th, 2012
Despite all the wrangling in Congress, we are still facing income and estate tax increases in 2013, now only five months away. ...

U.S. House Republicans Introduce Bill to Continue Bush Tax Cuts

Posted on: July 25th, 2012
The proposal provides for a continuation of the current income tax laws for one more year, preventing the scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts on December 31, 2012. ...

Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts on the Chopping Block?

Posted on: July 3rd, 2012
Persons who have relied upon certain trusts as a means of limiting estate taxes upon their death might have cause for concern regarding an Obama administration budget proposal for 2013. ...

States Reconsider Death Taxes

Posted on: March 28th, 2012
North Carolina repealed its intangible, inheritance and gift taxes within the last decade or so, but still maintains an estate tax with an exemption equal to the federal amount (currently $5.12 million). ...

Estate Tax Foe added to “Super Committee”

Posted on: November 30th, 2011
Arizona Senator Jon Kyl will join the bipartisan Congressional super committee, which has the task of cutting $1.5 trillion from the federal budget in the next decade. Kyl is a staunch opponent of the estate tax, and his appointment to the committee makes any movement toward a decrease in the current $5 million exemption or increase in the 35% rate unlikely. Democrats have called for the rate to increase to 45%....

Death Taxes – Worst States to Die In

Posted on: November 17th, 2011
Here are the states with an estate and or inheritance tax, ranked from approximate highest to lowest tax burden (North Carolina has the distinction of being the best of the worst):...

IRS Provides Guidance for Protective Claim for Estate Tax Refund

Posted on: October 14th, 2011
The IRS has just issued Revenue Procedure 2011-48, which provides guidance regarding the filing and subsequent resolution of a protective claim for refund of estate tax that is based on a deduction for a claim or expense under section 2053 of the Internal Revenue Code....

More on the 2011 Federal Estate Tax Return

Posted on: September 30th, 2011
The IRS has released the final instructions for the 2011 United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return (Form 706), and Guidance on Electing Portability of Deceased Spousal Exclusion Amount (Notice 2011-82)....

IRS Releases 2011 Estate Tax Return

Posted on: September 23rd, 2011
The IRS has now issued the U.S. Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return (Form 706) and draft instructions for decedents dying in 2011....

IRS Offers Filing and Penalty Relief for 2010 Estates

Posted on: September 13th, 2011
IR-2011-91 (emphasis added): WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that large estates of people who died in 2010 will have until early next year to file various required returns and pay any estate taxes due. ...

Spousal Portability and the Estate Tax After 2010

Posted on: September 8th, 2011
The Tax Relief Act of 2010 included a spousal portability provision for the $5 million estate tax exemption. If a married person dies after December 31, 2010 and does not use all of his or her exemption, the unused portion can be transferred to the surviving spouse....

IRS Guidance on 2010 Decedents’ Estates Filings

Posted on: August 9th, 2011
The IRS recently issued guidance on the treatment of basis for certain estates of persons who died in 2010. This will assist executors who decide to opt out of the estate tax and have the carryover basis rules apply. Form 8939, the basis allocation form required to be filed by executors opting out of the estate tax, is due November 15, 2011. ...

NC – No Estate Tax for 2010

Posted on: August 5th, 2011
Good news for beneficiaries of large North Carolina estates of decedents dying in 2010. From the North Carolina Department of Revenue:...

Congress Starts on Estate Tax Debate

Posted on: June 7th, 2011
The federal estate tax exemption is currently set at $5 million ($10 million for married couples), with a 35% rate. This law is set to expire on December 31, 2012, with the exemption reverting to $1 million (and a 55% rate) on January 1, 2013....

The State of State Estate Taxes

Posted on: May 10th, 2011
The majority of states no longer have an estate tax, but North Carolina is not one of them. Hungry for revenue, some states, such as Connecticut, are trying to lower the tax threshold. ...

IRS Extends Deadline for Carryover Basis Form for 2010 Estates

Posted on: April 5th, 2011
The IRS is extending the filing deadline of Form 8939, Allocation of Increase in Basis of Property Acquired from a Decedent, which must be submitted to determine the new basis of assets in 2010 estates that opt out of the federal estate tax....

Estate Taxes: The Worst States in Which to Die

Posted on: February 22nd, 2011
Here’s a recent marketwatch.com article on State Estate and Inheritance Taxes, and the various exemption amounts for each state. A majority of states, including Florida, have no state estate or inheritance taxes, and a couple of others effectively have the same $5 million exemption as the federal estate tax. ...

More on Estate Tax – for 2010, 2011 and 2012

Posted on: January 26th, 2011
"Nothing is certain but death and taxes," Benjamin Franklin famously said. In the last decade, another occurrence has been certain: The federal estate tax keeps changing. The tax cut legislation passed recently establishes new estate and gift tax rules for this year, next year and last year. ...

$5 Million Estate Tax Exemption Here to Stay?

Posted on: January 10th, 2011
This week I’m attending the University of Miami School of Law Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning. Most of the speakers so far are of the opinion of that the current federal estate tax exemption will not be decreased in 2013 when TRA 2010 expires....

2011 – The Federal Estate Tax Returns

Posted on: December 1st, 2010
For the past ten years, the federal estate tax rules have been changing and they will shift again on January 1, 2011. As of that date, the federal estate tax will return with a $1 million exemption and rate of 37-55%. ...

Estate (Tax) of Uncertainty Continues

Posted on: November 11th, 2010
The results of the recent midterm elections may not bring about speedy estate tax repeal or reform. To see why, check out this Forbes.com article Results of Midterm Elections Do Not Bring Certainty to the Federal Estate Tax. ...

Are You Willing to Die to Save Estate Taxes?

Posted on: November 1st, 2010
On October 30, 2010, there was a brief piece in the Durham Herald-Sun reporting that U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) said that some of her constituents are so worried about the reinstatement of the federal estate tax that they plan to discontinue dialysis and other life-extending medical treatments so they can die before the end of the year....

Estate Tax Debate Continues

Posted on: October 29th, 2010
The federal estate tax is a big issue in many congressional races, with proponents of repeal arguing that it severely impacts family businesses and farms. See this article in the online version of the Wall Street Journal....

Estate Tax Action Still Uncertain

Posted on: October 13th, 2010
Here’s the latest from theHill.com. Bottom line – nobody knows what’s going to happen when Congress is back in session. ...

Obama Still Wants $3.5 Million Estate Tax Exemption

Posted on: September 14th, 2010
This update is from Tax Analysts by way of Robert Keebler, CPA: Obama administration officials are considering a proposal to allow taxpayers to elect to apply 2009 rules to their 2010 estate tax bills, a Treasury Department official said in an interview that aired September 12....

Retroactive Estate Tax in 2010 Unlikely

Posted on: August 17th, 2010
While there is still debate over whether Congress will increase the scheduled $1 million exemption and decrease the 55% rate when the estate tax returns in 2011, ...

Action on Estate Not Likely Anytime Soon

Posted on: August 3rd, 2010
With only a couple of days until Congress takes its summer recess, it’s likely that that nothing will happen with estate tax reform until September at the earliest. ...

Most Tax Experts Believe in Estate Tax Worst Case Scenario for 2011

Posted on: July 30th, 2010
My former colleague and attorney Julie Garber recently sent the following email to over 50 attorneys, trust officers and accountants located throughout the U.S.: ...

Estate Tax “Rumors on the Street”

Posted on: July 15th, 2010
Yesterday I listened in on a conference call about planning to avoid the 3.8% Medicare Surtax that will come into effect in 2013. The speaker, CPA Robert Keebler, a nationally known tax expert, stated that it is likely that Congress will offer estates of those who die in 2010 the choice between the estate tax system, with a step-up in basis for appreciated property, and the modified carryover basis system currently in effect. ...

Too Rich to Live?

Posted on: July 12th, 2010
Watch out for your heirs, who might not want you to live to 2011 due to the heavy estate tax burden estates over $1 million will face next year. ...

Think $4 billion would help our government?

Posted on: June 9th, 2010
Here’s an article about Houston’s Dan Duncan’s death this year and his $9 billion estate, which will completely escape estate taxes (although his heirs may be liable for capital gains taxes upon the sale of some of his assets). ...

Estate Tax “Tremendous Upheaval” Predicted

Posted on: June 5th, 2010
On June 2, 2010, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) offered reporters his view on the uncertain future of the estate tax. Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee....

Ways and Means Chair comments on future of estate tax

Posted on: May 1st, 2010
The new chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) was quoted in an April 19 article on DailyFinance.com:...

An Estate Tax Nightmare…

Posted on: April 19th, 2010
Forbes.com has been publishing a series on finance and taxes – here’s one about an estate tax worst case scenario: Estate Tax Could Come Back with a Sharp Bite....

Retroactive Estate Tax in 2010 Less Likely?

Posted on: April 17th, 2010
There has been talk in Washington about possibly reinstating the estate tax retroactively to January 1, 2010? If that’s done, however, many have speculated that litigation challenging the constitutionality of doing so will follow....

Estate Tax ‘Choice” in 2010?

Posted on: April 6th, 2010
Support is growing in Congress for allowing estates of decedents dying in 2010 to choose between the $3.5 million estate tax exemption (per 2009 law) and the current modified carryover basis law. ...

AALU Report on Estate Tax Reform

Posted on: April 6th, 2010
A recent AALU report, Update on Estate Tax Reform: Developments and Dynamics, lists three factors that affect the ongoing environment for federal estate tax legislation:...

Washington State may double estate tax rate

Posted on: February 27th, 2010
Yes, I know this is the North Carolina Estate Planning Blog, but in these troubled economic times, with most states, including NC, desperate for cash, this could be a sign of things to come here and elsewhere....

State Estate Taxes – No Worries in NC (yet)

Posted on: February 23rd, 2010
There is no estate tax in North Carolina this year, but residents (and owners of real estate) in 19 other states do have a state estate tax, even in the absence of the federal estate tax. ...

State of the North Carolina Estate Tax

Posted on: January 25th, 2010
For years, there has only been North Carolina estate tax due if federal estate tax was due. Now, however, that the federal estate tax is gone (for now, anyway), what’s the status of the NC estate tax?...

Retroactive Estate Tax Not Certain

Posted on: January 15th, 2010
The Dow Jones Newswire quotes Rep. Charles Rangel, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, as saying that he does not favor retroactive estate tax legislation (to January 1, 2010). ...

Run, Don’t Walk to Your Estate Attorney!

Posted on: January 13th, 2010
From The New York Times to my bully pulpit: This article helps explain why revising old estate plans is more important than ever, given this bizarre (tax-wise) year of 2010. ...

Don’t Die Today – Tomorrow There Will be No Estate Tax

Posted on: December 31st, 2009
We only have a few hours left before the much reviled "death" tax disappears, to be replaced by a complicated and confusing carryover basis regime....

Immediate Senate Action on Estate Tax Unlikely

Posted on: December 7th, 2009
Other than perhaps a one year extension of current law, we are unlikely to see any movement on the estate tax in 2009. CCH Tax Newsletter....

Senate Bill Introduced to Hold Estate Tax at 2009 Levels

Posted on: November 30th, 2009
On November 17, 2009, Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and George V. Voinovich (R-OH) reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would freeze the estate tax at its current 2009 level (a $3.5 million exemption and 45% rate) and allow a surviving spouse to elect to use the exemption of the his or her predeceased spouse. ...

Estate Tax: Back to the Future

Posted on: October 31st, 2009
This article on Trusts & Estates journal’s website discusses a very real possibility – a return in 2011 to the estate tax laws of 2001. Briefly, that would mean a $1 million exemption and a 55% rate....

Uncertainty in Future of Estate Tax No Reason to Delay Planning

Posted on: October 23rd, 2009
Check out this aptly titled article on webcpa.com – The dangers of postponing estate planning until Congress clarifies the law....

Uncertainty in Future of Estate Tax No Reason to Delay Planning

Posted on: October 23rd, 2009
Check out this aptly titled article on webcpa.com – The dangers of postponing estate planning until Congress clarifies the law. Don’t let the expenditure of a few hours or a couple of thousand dollars keep you from putting a plan into place that could avoid unintended financial problems for your family and/or save them hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes. ...

Estate Tax Discussions Very Popular

Posted on: October 3rd, 2009
Here’s a link to an article from Evan Cooper at Investment News about a recent webinar on the federal estate tax that the magazine hosted – geared for financial advisors but worthy reading for all those interested in what will happen with the estate tax. ...

Estate Tax in 2010 and Beyond – Who Knows?

Posted on: September 22nd, 2009
Jonathan Weisman of the Wall Street Journal reports that the Estate Tax Faces Its Own Life-and-Death Struggle. When and what will happen with regard to the federal estate tax is still very much up in the air....

Inaction on the Federal Estate Tax to Continue in 2010?

Posted on: September 21st, 2009
Fellow Blawger Gideon Alper, who writes the Gay Couples Law Blog, has an interesting take on what will, or will not, happen with the federal estate tax over the next year or so: Estate Tax Repeal in 2010 Not a Big Deal Because Congress Can Pass a Retroactive Tax Amendment. ...

More on the Future of the Federal Estate Tax

Posted on: September 16th, 2009
Hurry up and wait is basically the message of this article from TheHill.com TheHill.com is self-described as the publication “for and about Congress, breaking stories from Capitol Hill, K Street and the White House. The Hill stands alone in delivering solid, nonpartisan reporting on the inner workings of Congress and the nexus of politics and business.”...

Federal Estate Tax – Worst Case Scenario More Likely

Posted on: August 25th, 2009
Based on inside sources in the U.S. Senate, here’s a prediction about what will happen with the estate tax. Since health care reform has consumed Congress and the Obama administration (except for drinking beer with professors and policemen), there will likely be no action on the estate tax until late December. ...

Sensible Estate Tax Act of 2009 introduced in U.S House

Posted on: June 1st, 2009
On April 22, 2009 Representative Jim McDermott of Washington has introduced H.R. 2023, which has been submitted to the Ways and Means Committee for study....

What Happens if the Federal Estate Tax Law Isn’t Changed this Year?

Posted on: April 29th, 2009
There has been much recent discussion about "death" tax reform, and several bills have been introduced in Congress to that effect (as I have blogged about over the last few months), but so far the law as provided in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001(EGTRA) is still in effect....

Death Tax Debate Alive and Well

Posted on: April 16th, 2009
The debate over extending the $3.5 million estate tax exemption versus increasing the exemption to $5 million is discussed in this NY Times article. Don’t our legislators have better things to do than argue over reducing taxes for such a minute percentage of the U.S. population?...

Yesterday’s Senate Action on the Estate Tax

Posted on: April 3rd, 2009
U.S. Senate goes two ways on estate taxes. The U.S. Senate went two different ways on the estate tax, which has been a contentious issue for years — a tax congressional Republicans have villified as the “death tax”....

Estate Still Over $3.5 Million? Now is the Time to Plan

Posted on: January 31st, 2009
​The estate tax exemption is up (to $3.5 million) and portfolios are down. However, for those whose estates are still above $3,500,000, now is the perfect time to transfer wealth to younger generations. ...

Where Not To Die

Posted on: January 23rd, 2009
01.19.09, 06:00 PM EST Sixteen states and the District of Columbia (shaded in red) impose their own estate taxes. ...

Obama Wants to Keep the $3.5 Million Estate Tax Exemption

Posted on: January 12th, 2009
Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article on the latest buzz on what the Democrats would like to do with the federal estate tax. ...

Expatriates Beware – New Taxes Apply

Posted on: December 21st, 2008
Tired of all the taxes here in the good ole USA and thinking of moving to a tropical isle with little or no taxation?...

Tax Policy Center Report on Federal Estate Tax

Posted on: November 3rd, 2008
Here’s a recent comprehensive report from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center entitled Back from the Grave: Revenue and Distributional Effects of Reforming the Federal Estate Tax. ...

Change to NC Estate Tax for Out–of-State Property

Posted on: September 14th, 2008
I’m back from vacation, furiously trying to catch up on things (as if!), but thought I would quickly add this tidbit from the NC Department of Revenue. ...

Federal Estate Tax Return Statistics for 2004 Decedents Released

Posted on: May 29th, 2008
For you true tax geeks out there, you can find all kinds of interesting statistics in this report published by the IRS. ...

North Carolina Ranked 13th in Taxable Estates in 2006

Posted on: March 20th, 2008
As reported in the TaxProf Blog, Citizens for Tax Justice has released a state-by-state ranking of the number of estates owing federal estate tax in 2006....

Thoughts on the Future of the Federal Estate Tax

Posted on: January 15th, 2008
This week I’m in Orlando at the University of Miami School of Law’s Heckerling Estate Planning Institute. Yesterday there was a discussion of what may be coming down the pike as to the federal estate tax (death tax):...

History of the Estate Tax

Posted on: December 7th, 2007
This article discusses in brief the history of the federal estate tax and its effect on the U.S. budget. ...

IRS Reports on Estate Tax Return Numbers

Posted on: September 8th, 2007
The IRS recently announced that the total number of estate tax returns filed fell by 58 percent to about 45,000 in 2005 from about 108,000 in 2001....

Give Farmers a Break on the Estate Tax?

Posted on: August 17th, 2007
Having just ridden a motorcycle through the endless farms of Iowa on my way to and from Sturgis, South Dakota, this news item caught my attention. ...

Estate Tax Legislation Update

Posted on: March 22nd, 2007
Yesterday the U.S. Senate approved an amendment to the Budget Resolution that would extend the 2009 estate tax rate (45%) and exemption ($3.5 million) through 2012. Under current law the estate tax would be "repealed" in 2010, but would return in 2011 with an exemption of only $1 million....

More on Professor Pennell’s View of the Future of the Estate Tax

Posted on: February 16th, 2007
Jeffrey Pennell, a professor at Emory Law School, was one of the featured speakers today at the Mid-South Forum ( meeting of estate planning attorneys) in Atlanta. ...

Estate Tax Revenues Drop

Posted on: February 3rd, 2007
An article by Robert Frank in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal describes the recent dramatic drop in taxable estate tax returns. ...

Professor Pennell’s view on Estate Tax Repeal

Posted on: January 8th, 2007
This week I’m attending the 41st Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning in Orlando. The Institute, sponsored by the University of Miami School of Law, is the nation’s leading conference on estate planning....

Possible Estate Tax Changes in 2007

Posted on: December 21st, 2006
The following news is from Stephanie Heilborn of the Milbank, Tweed law firm in New York City:...

House Passes Estate Tax Relief Act

Posted on: November 9th, 2006
From EstatePlanningLawFirms.com on November 6, 2006: Washington D.C. – Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) announced that the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5638, the Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act of 2006. ...

New Proposal for Estate Tax Relief

Posted on: October 28th, 2006
From EstatePlanningLawFirms.com: WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., announced that she is introducing a bill to bring relief and reform to the federal estate tax system....