Government Shutdown Is Not a Tax Holiday

With just over a week to go before the October 15 filing deadline for US tax returns that are on extension, the Internal Revenue Service is currently operating under a government shutdown contingency plan.  What does that mean for taxpayers, especially those who have yet to file their 2012 returns?

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Last Call to Take Advantage of Ultralow Rates for GRATs?

 Tara Thompson Popernik (in photo) and Stephen S. Schilling US investors interested in establishing a “zeroed-out” Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) would benefit from completing their transactions before rising interest rates diminish its potential value—preferably before the end of July.

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To Reduce Your US Tax Bill, Keep Dividends Qualified

Paul Robertson and Tuppence Russo The recently passed American Tax Relief Act (ATRA) raised the top tax rate for qualified dividends, but it scarcely affected the benefit this rate provides to investors. That’s because ATRA also raised the top tax rate on ordinary income—the rate investors have to pay for nonqualified dividends—by nearly as much.

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After ATRA, Tax Management Gains Importance

Daniel B. Eagan and Paul Robertson The US tax reform just enacted has made effective tax management of portfolios far more valuable for some investors. The old rules of thumb never really worked, but their shortcomings will now cost investors more.

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New US Tax Law May Reduce Portfolio Trading

Daniel B. Eagan, Paul Robertson and Tara Thompson-Popernik By raising capital-gains tax rates for some investors, the American Tax Relief Act alters the ground rules for tax-aware trading. If your taxable income exceeds $400,000 (single filer) or $450,000 (joint filer), there may now be less trading in your portfolio because each trade must clear a [...]

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Seniors: Act Fast If You Want to Transfer IRA Assets Directly to Charity

Daniel B. Eagan and Brian D. Wodar Philanthropic seniors in the US have only until the end of January to decide whether to make a tax-neutral transfer of up to $100,000 in IRA assets to the charity of their choice. For many, this could significantly lower their tax bill.

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Skip the Surtax: A Tax-Saving Strategy for CRTs

Daniel B. Eagan, Steve Schilling and Tara Thompson Popernik A special provision buried deep in a recent set of proposed US Treasury regulations opens the door for charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) to protect gains from being subject to next year’s 3.8% Medicare surtax. Here’s how CRTs can reduce their beneficiaries’ tax burden. 

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To Wait or Not to Wait? That Is the Charitable Gifting Question

Daniel B. Eagan and Brian Wodar The tax impact of delaying a charitable gift by just a couple of weeks (until 2013) could be large, but it may not be positive for US taxpayers.

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A Municipal Bond Cliffhanger

Municipal bonds are popular because the interest they pay is exempt from federal taxation. But in its search for solutions to the fiscal cliff, the US federal government is looking under every rock for more revenue sources. This could put muni bonds’ tax-exempt status at risk.

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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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