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September 2015 Archives

Planning around the estate and gift tax exemption limit

People in Atlanta with sizable estates should be aware of the estate and gift tax exemption limit. Since it was initially raised to $5 million in 2011 and indexed for inflation, it has risen slightly higher each year. For 2015, the estate and gift tax exemption limit is $5.43 million per person, and the limit is expected to rise to $5.45 million for 2016.

FATCA transitional rules extended

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act may affect people in Georgia who have deposits in foreign financial institutions. Part of the HIRE Act of 2010, FATCA imposes penalties on FFIs if they fail to report information to the IRS about assets they are holding for U.S. taxpayers. The penalties that could be imposed under FATCA may be as high as 30 percent of the income an FFI earns from U.S. sources.

More than a third of Americans pay no federal income taxes

Georgia residents may be surprised to learn that no payments were required from the filers of more than a third of all 2012 federal income tax returns. The number of Americans who do not earn enough to pay any federal income tax peaked at over 40 percent in 2009 as the financial crisis pushed the economy into recession, but it has been falling steadily since.

Avoiding estate tax and other estate planning concerns

Georgia residents might wonder how life insurance policies can be used in estate planning. Life insurance policies can do more than pay funeral expenses or provide for dependents after an individual's death. They can also provide a tax-free lump sum for taking care of other expenses.

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