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October 2015 Archives

IRS announces 2015 estate tax exemptions

Georgia residents may be aware that exemption to the federal estate and gift tax was established at $5 million in 2011 and has increased each year since according to the annual rate of inflation. The IRS announced the latest increase in October 2015 to $5.45 million for individuals and $10.9 million for married couples, effective for 2016. The figures for 2015 were $5.43 million and $10.86 million respectively. The gift exclusion per year remained unchanged at $14,000.

Abbey Lee Miller indicted on fraud charges

Georgia entertainment fans may be interested to learn that Abby Lee Miller, who stars on the TV show "Dance Moms," has been charged with bankruptcy fraud and other offenses. The federal grand jury indictment, which was issued in Pennsylvania, claims Miller concealed income she earned while working on the popular Lifetime show.

Strategies to lower property taxes

Many Georgia homeowners understand the burden of steep property taxes. However, there may be ways to get those taxes lowered without attending the local town hall meetings and protesting the tax rate. One approach that could result in a property tax reduction is to appeal the assessment. An assessment is an estimate of the property's value, which is determined on an annual basis by the local tax assessor. It involves factors such as comparing the property's value with the worth of like properties in the vicinity. Then, once the property's assessed valuation has been determined, it is multiplied by the local property tax rate.

Minimizing estate taxes for beneficiaries

People in Georgia planning to leave a substantial inheritance to their heirs may want to learn more about strategies used for reducing estate taxes. The highest federal estate tax rate is currently 40 percent. However, the federal estate tax for 2015 only applies to the value of the estate that is in excess of the $5.43 million lifetime basic exclusion amount.

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