Wealth & Risk Management Blog

William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Retirement planning for the next 4 years

Posted by William Byrnes on November 15, 2012


Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

With the election behind us, it is time for your clients to turn their attention to the looming tax reforms that should take shape over the next two months, and how these reforms can affect their retirement planning. Both arms of Congress will be working to reach a compromise on tax code provisions as basic as income tax rates before Jan. 1, after which the Bush-era tax cuts will expire, and rates could revert to pre-2001 levels.

Though President Obama spent little time discussing his views on tax-favored retirement accounts during his campaign, the plans he did set forth are indicative of the consequences for retirement savings. While this impact may not be immediately apparent to your clients, it is something that they need to consider as they plan for retirement this year and beyond.  See the full article on National Underwriters’ Life Health Pro http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2012/11/13/retirement-planning-for-the-next-4-years-under-pre

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Debt Deal Talks Down to the Wire

Posted by William Byrnes on March 23, 2012


Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner insists that the administration needs to reach a debt limit deal by the end of this week to give Congress enough time to enact the deal into law. Without a deal, the federal government will be unable to pay its debts as of August 2 of this year.

“Default is not an option,” he said on Tuesday, July 12, at the Treasury’s Women in Finance Symposium. “Failure is not an option, and they understand that—Speaker [John] Boehner and Minority Leader [Mitch] McConnell—absolutely understand we need to move in advance of the deadline on Aug. 2nd.”

Despite Geithner’s confidence that they will reach a deal, President Obama and Congressional leaders are also working on options for keeping the government’s bills paid if a deal can’t be reached by the Treasury’s August 2 debt limit deadline. “If we are unable to come together, we think it’s extremely important that the country reassure the markets that default is not an option and reassure Social Security recipients and families of military veterans that default is not an option,” said Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.), who took part in the talks.

Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage in  Advisor’s Journal, see Democrats Call Debt Limit Unconstitutional (CC 11-134), Debt Limit Standoff Boils Over (CC 11-115) and Storm Clouds over U.S. Debt (CC 11-85).

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Dodd-Frank: Dying on the Vine?

Posted by William Byrnes on October 31, 2011


The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) was endorsed by President Obama as an asset providing the “strongest consumer financial protections in history.” However, almost a  year after the Act was introduced, implementation of its broad reforms is slowing

The complexity of the Act is the root of it’s first problem: The bill came in at an overwhelming 2,319 pages, or 300,000 words, about half the length of the entire Christian Bible. By comparison, other paradigm-shifting financial acts were short-stories; the Federal Reserve Act was 31 pages, Glass-Steagall was 37 pages, and Sarbanes-Oxley was 66 pages long. Even the gargantuan Health Reform Act was shorter than Dodd-Frank. Consequently, even the Federal government can’t  fully ascertain the Act.

Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of the debt limit fight in Advisor’s Journal, see Storm Clouds over U.S. Debt (CC 11-85).

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Is Barney Frank’s Resolve to Implement Dodd-Frank Weakening?

Posted by William Byrnes on September 1, 2011


Facing the onslaught of Republican legislative attempts to weaken Dodd Frank, Barney Frank (D-MA) seems unconcerned. His unwillingness to push for the prompt implementation of Dodd-Frank suggests that his resolve is weakening. And in recent weeks, Representatives have used the implementation lull to introduce a handful of bills that, if passed, would repeal or delay parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

Dodd-Frank implementation was originally scheduled to launch July 21, but Mr. Frank has no reservations against allowing agencies more time to translate the abundant volume of provisions of the  reform into regulations. “There’s no gun at their heads. Nobody gets fired,” he stated.

However, by allowing for this delay, Mr. Frank risks giving the Republicans time to repeal Dodd-Frank one provision at a time.

Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of Dodd-Frank financial reform in Advisor’s Journal, see Republicans Look to Erode Dodd-Frank (CC 11-75).

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Obama Administration Targets S Corps in Corporate Tax Reform War

Posted by William Byrnes on July 13, 2011


Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sparked outrage when he suggested at a recent House Ways and Means subcommittee meeting that “Congress has to revisit this basic question about whether it makes sense for us as a country to allow certain businesses to choose whether they’re treated as corporations for tax purposes or not.” Geithner’s comments about pass-through entities evoked a sweeping gasp from millions of small business owners who could become virtually non-competitive if subject to a double tax regime.   Behind client referrals, professional referrals were the second biggest producer.  Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous Advisor’s Journal coverage of the Obama administration’s budget and tax proposals, see Obama Budget Would Undercut Utility of Life Insurance in Small Business Planning (CC-11-41) & Obama Tax Compromise Provides 100 Percent Bonus Depreciation of Business Assets Through 2011 (CC 11-01).

For in-depth analysis of S corporation taxation, see Advisor’s Main Library: B—Corporation’s Election Under Subchapter S.

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2012 Federal Budget Proposed – High Debt Continues

Posted by William Byrnes on March 22, 2011


Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers? Clients will often ask for your “take” on the annual federal budget.   It is important to show the client a command of the the facts and figures before addressing the political perspective of spending and revenue.  Any producer can “mime” someone else’s perspective.  Distinguish yourself with a command of the underlying numbers.  Thus, this week Advanced Market Intelligence presents the facts and figures of the proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2012.

The new 2012 Federal Budget was released by the President.  Below is a summary of the inflows and outflows concerning next year’s proposed budget (in billions of dollars).

Outlays:

Appropriated (“discretionary”) programs:   Security $ 884/Non-security 456; Subtotal—appropriated programs: 1,340

Mandatory programs: Social Security $ 761, Medicare 485, Medicaid 269, Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) 13, Other mandatory programs 612; Subtotal, mandatory programs 2,140, Net interest 242, Disaster costs 8

Total outlays 3,819

Receipts:

Individual income taxes $ 1,141, Corporation income taxes 329

Social insurance and retirement receipts: Social Security payroll taxes 659,Medicare payroll taxes 201, Unemployment insurance 57, Other retirement 8, Excise taxes 103, Estate and gift taxes 14, Customs duties 30, Deposits of earnings, Federal Reserve System 66, Other miscellaneous receipts 20

Total receipts 2,627

2012 Deficit $ 1,101

Here are some noted observations of the current budget:   Read the analysis at AdvisorFYI

 

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Why is Washington Calling for Corporate Tax Reform?

Posted by William Byrnes on March 5, 2011


President Obama recently targeted corporate tax rates in his State of the Union address.  “It makes no sense, and it has to change”. “Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years — without adding to our deficit. It can be done.”

Here’s why some politicians in Washington are calling for reform:

Although America has one of the highest maximum corporate tax rates throughout industrialized nations, many large corporations pay only a fraction of the maximum rate.  In a study by a New York University Professor, the data shows that a great number of public companies are paying around half, or even less, than the maximum corporate rate.

Read the analysis at AdvisorFYI

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Congress Extends Wage Credit for Employees Who Are Active Duty Members of the Military

Posted by William Byrnes on February 10, 2011


A member of the U.S. military who takes a leave of absence from his private sector job in order to go on active duty will often face a pay cut—the differential between his military and private sector pay.   Some employers make up this differential by paying employees who are on active duty a partial salary.  Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of the Tax Relief Act of 2010 in Advisor�s Journal, see Obama Tax Compromise Provides 100 Percent Bonus Depreciation of Business Assets Through 2011 (CC 11-01)Obama’s Social Security Tax Holiday: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish? (CC 10-119)Does the New Estate Tax Make the Bypass Trust Obsolete? (CC-10-122), and 2010 Estates: To Elect or Not to Elect (CC 10-124).

 

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The Recession: Over or America’s Lost Decade?

Posted by William Byrnes on January 12, 2011


Some economists are reporting that the recession is officially over.

Others are less optimistic, suggesting that the recession could last into 2012. And with unemployment numbers hovering around 10 percent, median household income falling, and foreclosures mounting, the most important part of any potential recovery, the public, is still cynical.

What if even the most cynical predictions for the world economy are underestimating the length of the path to recovery?

One economist is predicting that the current recession could last until 2018.  Read this complete article at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of the economic downturn in Advisor’s Journal, see Fed to Purchase $600 Billion in Treasuries in Move to Stimulate Economy (CC 10-94).

 

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How The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act May Impact Your Business and Clients

Posted by William Byrnes on November 23, 2010


"Dr. Coburn and Senator Obama look over t...

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During the first quarter of 2010, President Obama signed into law H.R. 2847, the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act. “The act provides incentives for job creation, but in order to pay for the incentives, the act also contains significant changes that will affect foreign financial institutions that choose to do business with U.S. persons.” [1] Half of the “U.S. Congressional Record that contains the act” is “dedicated to foreign account tax compliance.” [2]

Therefore, “although the act is commonly referred to as the HIRE Act for its focus on job creation, one of its main purposes is to target tax dodgers’ use of foreign accounts.” [3] The act is basically a model of the 2009 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which was introduced by the Senate.   “The act incorporates substantially all of FATCA, with one important exception: FATCA would have imposed reporting requirements on material advisors, including attorneys, accountants, and other professionals, who advise on acquisitions or formations of foreign entities.” [4]

Read the entire article at AdvisorFYI.

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The Economic Substance Doctrine Can Unwind Even the Best Laid Plans

Posted by William Byrnes on October 29, 2010


A rush of IRS challenges to transactions that provide your clients with a significant tax benefit may be on its way.  The IRS has new options for denying tax deductions and other tax benefits when it— at its discretion—believes that a transaction has been entered into solely for a tax reduction and not a valid business purpose.

This IRS`s “new” tool is the recently-codified economic substance doctrine, which was signed into law earlier this month by President Obama as part of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010. The IRS says that the act codifies only existing case law, but in practice, it gives the service the power to supplant a taxpayer`s business judgment with the service`s judgment of whether a transaction has profit potential, the end result being a denial of the tax benefit of transactions that the IRS judges not to have an economic purpose other than the reduction of taxes.

Read this complete article at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

We look forward to your comments on AdvisorFYI.

 

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The Impact of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act

Posted by William Byrnes on September 30, 2010


President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, H.R. 5297, on Monday, September 27, establishing an allowance for partial annuitizations of annuity contracts from January 1, 2011.  In the coming weeks, the Advisors Journal will include in-depth examinations of the provisions of the Small Business Act that are of the most interest to advisors and insurance producers, such as the partial annuitization of annuity contracts and the Roth Conversion Extension to Employer Accounts.

In this AdvisorFX exclusive analysis, we summarize the impact of the Act’s other major provisions.  Please read the article via your AdvisorFX subscription at AdvisorFX (or sign up for a free 30 day trial).

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