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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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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Challenges in Today’s Municipal Market

Most fixed-income investments carry two key risks: interest-rate risk and credit risk. Both affect a bond’s value in the market. But before the 2008 financial crisis, interest-rate risk was the primary concern of many investors and investment managers—credit risk was much less of a consideration. My colleague Michael Brooks explains why.

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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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As the Fed Twists, Seize Opportunity to Transfer Wealth

It remains to be seen whether the Federal Reserve can stimulate the economy with its latest “twist” strategy for lowering interest rates, but today’s ultralow rates create one clear opportunity: if you have personal wealth that you intend to leave to family or charity, now is the best time in decades to initiate certain wealth-transfer [...]

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