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July 2015 Archives

Estate tax rates and exemptions in 2015

Georgia residents are likely aware that the federal estate tax has been a contentious issue in recent years. Supporters of the measure say that estate taxes help to offset income inequality, but opponents claim that these taxes are just a way for the government to take a second taxation bite out of estates. Estate tax rates for 2015 range from just 18 percent to 40 percent, but the associated exemptions mean that any estate tax owed will be calculated at the highest rate.

Claiming the unused exclusion from a deceased spouse

Georgia residents may not be familiar with a law passed in 2007 that allows a spouse to elect and claim the unused part of their deceased spouse's exclusion with respect to federal estate tax. The exclusion, called a DSUE, is the allowed exemption amount from estate taxes, and is currently at $5.43 million, with the amount subject to annual inflation adjustments.

Billionaire's estate settles with IRS for $388 million

The IRS reached a settlement with the estate of Bill Davidson, who died in 2009 as one of the country's wealthiest people. Georgia sports fans may have known Davidson as the owner of professional sports franchises in the NBA, WNBA and NHL. In 2013, Davidson's estate filed an action in U.S. Tax Court challenging IRS tax assessments amounting to $2 billion. Per the settlement agreement, the estate will pay the IRS $388 million.

Georgia residents advised to look to the future

Many Georgia residents may be able to significantly reduce their tax obligations by placing their money in retirement structures. In particular, traditional IRA plans are notable for their ability to provide their owners with financial leeway in addition to serving as nest eggs for later years.

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