William Byrnes' Tax, Wealth, and Risk Intelligence

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

Posts Tagged ‘estate tax’

11 more annuity tax facts you need to know

Posted by William Byrnes on April 14, 2014

An annuity is a complicated beast — and during tax season, your clients’ questions can pile up faster than hospitality complaints from the crowds at Sochi. How are payments under a variable immediate annuity taxed? When is the exchange of one annuity contract for another a nontaxable exchange? Read on to find answers to these and other queries.

1. What general rules govern the income taxation of payments received under annuity contracts?

read on at LifeHealthPro

LifeHealthPro.com is the vital online destination for life & health insurance advisors, designed to provide them with the essential elements they need to run their practice and increase their bottom line including breaking news, market trends, practice tips and more.

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12 more estate planning tax facts you need to know

Posted by William Byrnes on April 8, 2014

Estate planning is a complicated business. Before you sit down with clients, find out what Uncle Sam will demand if a life insurance policy or an annuity is part of their estate, or part of a recent inheritance.

1. When are death proceeds of life insurance includable in an insured’s gross estate?

They are includable in the following four situations: … Read all 12 Tax Fact estate planning tips at LifeHealthPro

LifeHealthPro.com is the vital online destination for life & health insurance advisors, designed to provide them with the essential elements they need to run their practice and increase their bottom line including breaking news, market trends, practice tips and more.

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10 estate planning tax facts you need to know

Posted by William Byrnes on April 7, 2014

The fiscal cliff deal cleared up every estate planning tax question ever, right? Or not. Because for as much fanfare as the new estate tax received, there are still a lot of sticky tax-related questions out there.

Like what, exactly, constitutes an estate?

Do life insurance proceeds count?

What about employer-provided income benefits?

How are annuities treated?

Here are 10 big estate planning tax questions, answered.  Read on at LifeHealthPro

LifeHealthPro.com is the vital online destination for life & health insurance advisors, designed to provide them with the essential elements they need to run their practice and increase their bottom line including breaking news, market trends, practice tips and more.


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IRS Grants Reprieve for Late Estate Tax Portability Elections

Posted by William Byrnes on March 31, 2014

Today’s generous estate tax exemption has created an unexpected problem among clients: failure to take advantage of the portability of a first-to-die spouse’s unused estate tax exemption. Unknown to many, portability is available only if you ask for it, and failure to elect portability can leave a surviving spouse’s estate facing an unexpectedly heavy tax burden, even if no estate tax was due upon the first spouse’s death.

Luckily, the IRS has provided a limited reprieve for certain clients whose inadvertent failure to make the election could leave them on the hook for an unnecessary estate tax bill.  The relief provided by the IRS, however, is limited in both time and scope, so the time to learn the rules of portability is now.

Read the analysis of William Byrnes and Robert Bloink at > ThinkAdvisor <

ThinkAdvisor.com supports the professional growth and vitality of the Investment Advisory community, from RIAs and wealth managers of all kinds, to independent broker-dealer and wirehouse representatives. We provide unparalleled access to the knowledge, information and critical resources they need to succeed at every stage in their career, including professional development, education and certification, industry news and analysis, reference tools and services, and community networking opportunities.

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$135 billion of reported gifts for 2012 nearly tripling 2011 levels

Posted by William Byrnes on January 28, 2014

Yesterday, the IRS Tax Stats Dispatch (#2014-2) included the link for the summation of data from all 2012 Gift Tax Returns.   (see http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats—Total-Gifts-of-Donor,-Total-Gifts,-Deductions,-Credits,-and-Net-Gift-Tax)

Interestingly, the total reported gifts of 2012 of approximately $135 billion was substantially more than double the 2011 year of approximately $51 billion, and previous years before that.  The significant pickup in reported gift giving over the last several years compared to 2012 is in the category $1 million and larger gifts.

Will be interested to read your comments as to why this may be ?  By example, is this the result of the now settled Estate and Gift tax rates ?  Is it a result of the timing of retiring baby boomers wealth transfer to the next generation of their progeny?  Is it charitably driven ?

Were financial planners prepared for the planning of this more than doubling of gifts to future generations and for charitable / legacy purposes?

Use Comments below.

Tax status and size of taxable gifts, current period [1]
Total gifts [2] Total annual exclusions Total included amount of gifts Total deductions [3] Taxable gifts, current period [4]
Number Amount Number Amount Number Amount Number Amount Number Amount
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)
All returns, taxable and nontaxable 258,393 $134,846,285,766 244443 11794733033 191816 123051555062 5606 8120138820 190401 114968624890
$0 67992 5822167968 67680 4054653753 1415 1767514212 1415 1767514212 0 0
Less than $2,500 7612 362423498 6528 233021040 7612 129402627 24 119914708 7612 9487920
$2,500 under $5,000 7433 412615201 7075 262415929 7433 150200871 407 123,960,592 7433 26240997
$5,000 under $10,000 9294 563330627 8934 321839948 9294 241490859 264 172533814 9294 68957045
$10,000 under $25,000 26161 1366229180 25611 924979071 26161 441250106 217 17,630,195 26161 423619911
$25,000 under $50,000 23829 1731665895 22746 796632342 23829 935033551 397 84434152 23829 850599399
$50,000 under $75,000 13048 1239385141 12504 400229648 13048 839155682 17 38,557,818 13048 800621940
$75,000 under $100,000 8306 996198369 7583 183011743 8306 813186628 6 91,801,097 8306 721385532
$100,000 under $250,000 29570 6071771849 26863 961754449 29570 5110017617 311 338746401 29570 4771297431
$250,000 under $500,000 17,470 $7,519,686,206 16193 709363682 17470 6810322321 662 439160459 17470 6371161683
$500,000 under $1 million 16,149 $12,885,834,594 14609 773330454 16149 12112504390 390 346832003 16149 11765882467
$1 million or more 31,529 $95,874,977,236 28117 2173500974 31529 93701476195 1497 4579053368 31529 89159370564

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Will a Twitter Freeze Slash Your Thanksgiving Weight Gain or Your Client’s Tax Bill?

Posted by William Byrnes on November 28, 2013

While you think about how to reduce your weight, after the glutinous consumption of the Thanksgiving meal today, also consider how to reduce your client’s estate tax before an investment pays off.  The Twitter executives developed a plan to reduce their eventual gift and estate taxes in advance of their IPO.  The IPO has cause the value of the company to skyrocket.  But your client does not have to own Twitter stock to leverage the Twitter tax plan…. In fact,  a closer look at the planning strategies employed by Twitter shows that your client does not have to be sitting on the next hot silicon valley IPO to benefit from their use.  Even if your client does not own pre-IPO shares, the freeze and discounting strategies used can save them from a hefty tax bill.

Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis of the Twitter freeze strategy that may be attractive for certain of your clients at > http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2013/11/06/can-a-twitter-freeze-slash-your-clients-tax-bill <

And please support our newest book that has just been published: > Tax Facts on Individuals and Small Business <

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Tax Court Provides Help for Estate Planning Using Gift Tax Valuation

Posted by William Byrnes on November 19, 2013

In the gift tax arena, the value assigned to the transferred property can often make or break your high-net-worth clients’ tax planning strategies, leading many clients to move conservatively through the valuation minefield.

Despite this, the newest strategy to emerge in the world of gift tax valuation can actually allow these wealthy clients to reduce their estate tax liability. Reversing course from a previous line of cases, the Tax Court recently blessed a cutting edge valuation strategy for lifetime gifts that can be used to reduce overall estate tax liability for these clients by simultaneously reducing the bite of the often-overlooked three-year bringback rule—a rule which can cause even the most carefully laid estate plans to fail.

Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis of the tax court case and the three-year bringback rule at > http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2013/10/29/tax-court-provides-help-for-estate-planning-using <


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Gifting Life Insurance Policies: Not a Simple Matter

Posted by William Byrnes on October 17, 2013

Making a gift of a life insurance policy can prove to be anything but simple for clients who may not know what questions to ask in order to ascertain the potential tax consequences of the transaction. Transferring a policy that is subject to a policy loan can prove even more problematic, even if the transferee is a family member and the transfer is intended entirely as a gift.

Though the rule’s name might suggest otherwise, the transfer for value rule can create a serious tax trap for a client who transfers a life insurance policy, even if nothing tangible actually changes hands in the transaction.   Want to read more?  Open access content at Think Advisor!

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2 New Tax Facts Books Released

Posted by William Byrnes on August 23, 2013

National Underwriters published 2014 editions of Tax Facts books authored by William Byrnes and Robert Bloink of the graduate tax program.

2014 Tax Facts on Investments

2014 Tax Facts on Insurance & Employee Benefits

“We have included a new section on cross border employment and estate tax issues, captive insurance and alternative risk transfer, reverse mortgages, DOMA, as well as the previously expanding sections on ETFs and on precious metals & collectibles,” William Byrnes said.  “Moreover, we hope to soon announce the newest title of Tax Facts addressing entrepreneurs and their small business tax issues.” 

“Tax Facts Books and the Tax Facts Online portal have built strong following of many thousand of financial planning professionals.  I think financial planning professionals relate to National Underwriter’s approach of contextualizing client problems in a Question – Answer format.”

Both publications are now available as e-books, as an alternative or in combination with print.

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Immigration, Tax Planning, & AML Compliance for High Net Wealth Families & Executives

Posted by William Byrnes on June 6, 2010

The course instructors will “bridge the gap” between the often complex and quite intricate realm of international tax, estate planning, and immigration law. There is an obvious “nexus” between working professional immigrants, “high net worth immigrants,” and their financial dealings as to taxation and estate planning.  The course will first provide a survey of the foundational principles of U.S. international tax and estate planning.  The course will then provide a survey of relevant immigration visa categories, their status requirements, and “triggers” that have international tax and/or estate planning consequences.  Then the course will apply the legal principles with US case scenarios in order to establish a greater understanding between the “nexus” of international tax and immigration laws.

Next the instructors will lecture on the international movement of high net wealth executives and families: tax and immigration issues and strategies.  Finally the instructors will analyze the often overlooked overlap amongst financial reporting requirements, with a particular emphasis on the Patriot Act and related requirements.

Instructors: Prof. Fred Ongcapin is an Adjudications Officer (Policy) for the Policy and Regulation Management Division, Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Headquarters Office, Washington D.C. In his current position he has authored and led to the publishing of numerous national policy guidance memos and formal regulations as to immigration law for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He also provides regular statutory and policy guidance concerning immigration policy for Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices throughout the country due to his subject matter expertise in immigration law. On several occasions, Fred has represented Citizenship and Immigration Services before senior policy level liaison meetings with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Justice, and certain Congressional Committees on Immigration.

Prof. Marshall Langer, the globally renown international tax author, lecturer and practitioner. Famed for Langer’s Practical International Tax Planning and for Rhoades & Langer U.S. International Tax and Treaties. Prof. Langer retired Of Counsel at the firm of Shutts & Bowen, London, England, and Miami, Florida.

Prof. William Byrnes has been an author and editor of 10 books and treatises and 17 chapters for Lexis-Nexis, Wolters Kluwer, Thomson-Reuters, Oxford University Press, Edward Elgar, and Wilmington. He is currently working on several Concept Maps for Lexis-Nexis Tax Law Center. This year he takes over as the author of National Underwriters’ Advanced Underwriting Service – the dominant information service in the insurance/financial planning industry with tens of thousands of subscribers.

In professional practice William Byrnes was a senior manager, then associate director of international tax for Coopers and Lybrand which subsequently amalgamated into PricewaterhouseCoopers, practicing in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. He has been commissioned and consulted by a number of governments on their tax and fiscal policy from policy formation to regime impact.

Delivery: 14 hours of live lecture and case studies via WIMBA web-conferencing – requires no download and works on PC/Mac.

Dates:  June 8, 15, 22 (Tues) 9pm-10pm (Eastern); June 29 (Tues) 9pm – midnight (Eastern); July 22 & 29 (Thurs) 10am-11am (Eastern); Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26 (Thurs) 9pm – 10pm (Eastern); Sept. 2 (Thurs) 9pm – 11pm (Eastern)

Recordings: all lectures are made available within 1 hour after class – on-demand video streaming and MP4 download until September 5th.

Contact: Prof. William Byrnes, Associate Dean – wbyrnes@tjsl.edu +1 (619) 297-9700 x 6955 for a registration form. Payments are only made by credit card to Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The fee is $49 per lecture hour ($686 for 14 hours) and includes electronic course materials.

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