IRS Raises Limit On Tax-Free Lifetime Gifts – Forbes

  As many estate planners anticipated, the Internal Revenue Service has raised the limit on tax-free transfers during life or at death. Starting in 2014 that amount, known as the basic exclusion, will go up to $5.34 million per person, from $5.25 million this year. Today’s announcement, in Revenue Procedure 2013-35, indicates that there will be no change in the annual exclusion, which allows you to give $14,000 in cash or other assets each year to each of as many … Continued

How one family fought the IRS on estate taxes and won | LifeHealthPro

  There wouldn’t seem to be a whole lot of loopholes available for people making use of the gift tax exemption to reduce their estate taxes. But that doesn’t stop people from trying to invent ways around it. One such person was Jean Steinberg, a very wealthy 89-year-old woman with four daughters. She gave the daughters a $72 million gift of cash and securities, which, needless to say, was well over the gift tax limit. But she came up with … Continued

To Give or Not to Give, Up to $5.12 Million – NYTimes.com

TIME IS RUNNING OUT TIME may — or may not — be running out for one of the biggest tax breaks for wealthy Americans: the chance to give up to $5.12 million to heirs tax-free and then pay a comparatively low 35 percent rate on any gift above that. The break is scheduled to expire in six months, but no one will hazard a guess about its fate because it is just one of many tax and spending measures expiring … Continued

Uncle Sam Got More Than John Edwards From Billionaire Heiress, Tax Pros Say – Forbes

  Meanwhile, trust and estate lawyers are pondering a separate issue: The high tax cost of Mellon’s generosity. The government contended that Mellon, using a North Carolina interior decorator as a go-between, sent $725,000 to Hunter on Edwards’ behalf. We figure this required her to pay federal gift tax, and also a little-known federal tax known as the generation-skipping transfer tax. Together they more than doubled the cost of her gift, one lawyer estimates. By way of background, the recipient … Continued

The $7 trillion fiscal cliff – Apr. 30, 2012

  Congress has invented a new extreme sport: Skating on the edge of a $7 trillion fiscal cliff. That’s the magnitude of tax increases and spending cuts that will start to hit the economy on Jan. 1, 2013, unless Congress acts. And how Congress navigates that fiscal cliff will affect economic growth, Americans’ wallets and the country’s fiscal outlook. (Fiscal cliff: What should Congress do?) "There is about $7 trillion there that … could be taken out of the economy … Continued