There’s Still (Barely) Time to Benefit from Favorable US Gift Tax Rates

Daniel B. Eagan and Andrew S. Auchincloss The door is closing but has not yet shut for families hoping to benefit from the current favorable gift tax environment in the US. Those who are ready to act now may still be able to transfer wealth efficiently.

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The Benefits—and Risks—of Gifting Before Year-End

With gift and estate taxes poised to rise meaningfully and the exemption scheduled to plummet, high-net-worth families should consider giving to family and philanthropy this year, even if that’s sooner than they’d anticipated. 

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Tax Cliff Enhances Potential Benefit of Roth IRA Conversion

With US federal tax rates poised for a potential hike next year, now is a good time to consider converting retirement assets to a Roth IRA. Conversions are now available to all investors, with no income ceiling in place.

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Preparing for the Tax Cliff Ahead: Diversifying Concentrated Positions

With US tax rates potentially rising sharply in January, now is a good time to consider taking gains on concentrated stock positions and exercising stock options.

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The Benefit of Transferring Wealth by Year End

With US gift- and estate-tax rates slated to rise on January 1, it may be wise to gift assets before year-end. As my colleague Andrew Auchincloss explains below, you still have a rare (but fleeting) opportunity to transfer wealth tax efficiently.

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Minimizing Taxes on Your Executive Compensation

Given the likelihood of higher US tax rates starting in January 2013, you’ll want to review the way you manage your compensation. Your cash bonus, executive stock options and large holdings of company stocks deserve careful review, as my colleague Richard Weaver explains below.

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Selling Your Business Before Taxes Rise

Planning to sell your business? Try to wrap up the deal before year end, when today’s highly favorable US capital gains tax rate is scheduled to expire.

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Making Forecasts Reliable—and Useful

If there’s one thing you know about capital-market forecasts, it’s that they’re usually wrong. So why bother forecasting—or paying attention to forecasts?

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Working Past 66: The Impact on Social Security Benefits

A reader of my recent article on when to take Social Security benefits asked whether my analysis would change if a person does not retire at age 66 and plans to work until age 70—and is earning more now than he expects to earn at retirement. That’s a good question.

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Foundation Strategies for an Era of Sub-Par Investment Returns

In my last post I argued that today’s unusually low prospective returns for bonds and near-normal prospective returns for equities will make it very difficult for foundations and endowments to achieve their long-term goals. Here’s our take on the alternative strategies that foundations and endowments should consider.

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