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

Posts Tagged ‘Generation-skipping transfer tax’

Obama Tax Cuts Analysis: Estate and Generation Skipping Transfer Tax

Posted by William Byrnes on January 18, 2011


The recent Obama Tax Cuts reinstated the estate and generation skipping transfer taxes effective for decedents dying and transfers made after December 31, 2009.  As was discussed earlier this week, the estate tax applicable exclusion amount is $5 million for decedents dying in calendar years after 2011, and the maximum estate tax rate is 35 percent. Furthermore, the generation skipping transfer tax exemption for decedents dying or gifts made after December 31, 2009, is equal to the applicable exclusion amount for estate tax purposes ($5 million for 2010).

For a general background on the Generation Skipping Transfer Tax, see our November 1st Blogticle entitled: Life Insurance and the Generation—Skipping Transfer Tax

Although technically the generation skipping transfer tax is applicable for 2010, the generation skipping transfer tax rate for transfers made during 2010 is zero percent. After this year, the generation skipping transfer tax rate equals the highest estate and gift tax rate in effect for such year (35 percent in 2011 and 2012), notwithstanding the exclusion amounts.

Moreover, under the new law, a recipient of property acquired from a decedent who dies after December 31, 2009, generally will receive fair market value basis (i.e., “step up” in basis). [1]

To read this article excerpted above, please access http://www.advisorfyi.com/2010/12/obama-tax-cuts-analysis-estate-and-generation-skipping-transfer-tax/

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Estate Asks Supreme Court to Consider GST Tax Grandfathering Exemption

Posted by William Byrnes on January 5, 2011


An estate has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether the GST tax “grandfathering exemption” is ambiguous.  Two circuit courts of appeal have held that the statute is ambiguous while another two circuits hold that it is plain and unambiguous.

The Supreme Court is being asked to settle the split between the circuits.

The Generation Skipping Trusts

A generation skipping trust is a trust designed to shift property from one generation to another without passing the property through an intervening generation—e.g. a trust that transfers property from grandparents to their grandchildren.  Generally the “child beneficiaries” (children of the grantor) take only an income interest in the trust with grandchildren taking a remainder interest in the trust.  When the child beneficiaries die, trust assets will be transferred to the grandchildren.  Assuming the child beneficiaries took only an income interest in the trust and did not hold any incidents of ownership in the trust, the trust will not be included in the children’s estates when they die.

So, for example, if Grandfather funds a trust will for $5 million, naming his three adult children as income beneficiaries and his grandchildren as remainder beneficiaries, the trust is a generation skipping trust.  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 in-depth analysis of the generation skipping transfer tax, see Advisor’s Main Library: Section 2.1 A—Generation Skipping Transfers Explained

We invite your questions and comments by posting them below or by calling the Panel of Experts.

 

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Life Insurance and the Generation—Skipping Transfer Tax

Posted by William Byrnes on November 15, 2010


Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers?  Provides details about one concept that wealth managers often overlook, the generation skipping transfer tax.  Also presents general concept themes and examples to show effective uses of life insurance and trust in consideration of the tax. 

In general, the generation-skipping transfer tax is levied on the value of life insurance that is transferred during the grantors lifetime or at death, to a skip person. [1]  The GST is levied in addition to estate and gift taxes. [2]

The generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax “scheduled to resume in 2011 at a rate of 55%, with a $1 million exemption. The rate was 45% in 2009, with a $3.5 million exemption.” [3]  For more information about the expiring tax cuts and new tax rates, see our blogticle: AdvisorFYI: Estate and Gift Taxes, Tax Cuts and More

“Certain direct gifts that qualify for the gift tax exclusion may also qualify for an annual exclusion that can be applied against the GST tax.” [4]  Many wealth managers encourage clients to take full advantage of the annual exclusion to avoid GST tax considerations at some later point.  However, “the expiration of the GST tax has complicated matters for wealthy individuals hoping to make 2010 gifts in trust that skip generations.” [5]  The use of trusts in consideration of the GST tax is discussed below.  For examples of insurance uses with trusts generally, see our previous blogticle: Trusts that Purchase Life Insurance; Known Formally as the “Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

Please link to AdvisorFYI for the entire blogticle.

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