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Derek's Tax Blog

Tax Attorney Derek JensenI strated this blog as a way to follow the developments in the Federal Estate Tax. However, from time to time I will post on Federal Income Tax issues, the Washington State Estate Tax, Estate Planning, Elder Law, and Business Planning. Please feel free to leave comments.
Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Monday, 08 June 2009 13:46
President Obama is schedule to announce new tax increases today that will raise $60 Billion over the next 10 years. Although details are limited at this time, the Reuters article and the Wall Street Journal article make it clear that Obama is taping the estate tax as a way to pay for his health care initiative. The estate tax hike is described in the articles as closing “loop holes”. It appears the “loop hole” in question is valuation discounts. The fact that valuation discounts may...

Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Monday, 08 June 2009 13:45
It has been reported that last night the House and Senate reached a deal for the 2010 budget resolution that includes an extension of the 2009 estate tax exemption. This is a tax increase for 2010 since the estate tax was set to be repealed next year; however, it is scored as a tax cut in the resolution since it will increase the exemption in years 2011 through 2014. So unless you are unlucky enough to die next year, this is a good thing.

However, don’t start celebrating just yet. In an...

Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Monday, 08 June 2009 13:45
Over the weekend I was able to obtain a copy of the bill introduced by Seattle congressman Jim McDermott, H.R. 2023. Here is my quick analysis of the bill: Exemption: The estate tax exemption is set to $2.0 million. Although this would be considered a tax cut for year 2011 and beyond, when compared to this years exemption of $3.5 million this will be viewed as a tax increase. Taxpayer unfriendly. Indexed: The bill includes a provision to automatically increase the exemption in...

Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Monday, 08 June 2009 13:44
As discussed last week, Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott introduced an estate tax bill yesterday. It is H.R. 2023, entitled “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reform the estate and gift tax”. The text is not yet available, but you can get the text and check the status with the last two links. It appears that the bill includes a permanent estate tax exemption of $2.0 million, higher tax rates, and indexing.

This bill adds to a growing debate on the future of the estate tax...

Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Monday, 08 June 2009 13:43
As a planner I urge my clients to create their estate plans for the law as written and to take a “I will believe it when I see it approach” to the politicians’ rhetoric. However, my job includes following the political debate and drafting flexibility into my clients’ plans, since I may not get an opportunity to fine tune their plans when every new tax bill is passed.

That is why I have been following the debate (mostly lake there of) in congress on the future of the estate tax...

Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Monday, 08 June 2009 13:42
Here in Washington State we tax estates that are greater than $2 Million. At 19% our top estate tax rate is the higher than any other state. You could say that as a state, we like the estate tax. In fact, when given the choice to repeal it came up for a vote in 2006, the voters of Washington State overwhelmingly to keep it.

That is why it is somewhat surprising that our two U.S. Senators, Democrats Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray voted with Republicans on the Kyl / Lincoln estate tax...

Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Monday, 08 June 2009 13:41

The Tax Policy Center has just completed an update of their estate tax study comparing the current law and the three most commonly discussed proposals: the currently law with the exemption returning to $1 million; an extension of the 2009 exemption and rates; President Obama’s version with indexing; and the Lincoln / Kyl amendment from the Senate.

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