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Protecting Wealth and Income From Unreasonably Burdensome Taxes

“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.” Judge Learned Hand, US Court of Appeals.

While other areas may be explored, the articles in this category primarily discuss two areas of taxation: estate taxes and income taxes. Discussions include the nature of the estate tax, gift taxes, specific strategies designed to reduce or eliminate estate taxes and gift taxes and income tax reduction strategies.

Washington Legislature Proposes Estate Tax Increase

by Douglas Lineberry on February 18, 2010

As if intending to rub salt into what could turn into a significant tax wound for many people, the Washington legislature is proposing to increase estate tax rates. House Bill 3184 would increase Washington State estate tax rates from the current range of 10% – 19% to 20% to 38%. This is particularly troubling in […]

In the previous post I discussed statutory protections that apply to IRAs.  One obvious point is that an account is only protected as long is it actually is an IRA.  This post discusses what can happen when the IRA owner engages in certain conduct known as “prohibited transactions.” What is a prohibited transaction?  It’s a tax rule.  It’s all […]

Debtors have the right to claim certain property as exempt and therefore not available to be used in satisfaction of debts in the bankruptcy proceeding.  Debtors generally have the choice of exemptions set forth in federal statutes (section 522 of the bankruptcy code) or under state law.  For example, you can review the list of […]

This is an introduction to a multi-part post on asset protection for individual retirement accounts (or “IRAs”).  Many people believe that their IRA is an extremely secure asset, held inviolate against claims of creditors and fully protected by bankruptcy laws.  As we will discuss, there is a certain level of asset protection for IRAs in […]

Congress Fails to Address Estate Taxes

by Douglas Lineberry on December 18, 2009

Congress failed to amend the federal estate tax by the end of 2009. This means that estate tax planning in 2010 and beyond will become extraordinarily difficult as we plan first for no federal estate tax, then for a 2011 estate tax that will have 2001 estate tax exemption levels and estate tax rates.

IRS Takes on Retirement Plan Investment Strategy

by Douglas Lineberry on March 25, 2009

The IRS announces concerns with using retirement assets in a rollover to provide business start-up capital. The strategy may be a prohibited transaction that will disqualify your retirement plan.

Many people invest in real estate investment for potential tax advantages. In particular, it is possible to generate a tax loss through real estate when you do not actually have an economic loss.  This is true because when you add your depreciation deduction to all other cash-expense deductions, the deductions very often outweigh any income […]