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November 2015 Archives

Georgia estates to be impacted by IRS rules

Recently, the IRS changed its rules about the distribution of closing letters. Instead of automatically sending such letters to indicate the end of an estate filing and the completed payment of related federal taxes, the agency will only send notices when they're directly requested by a taxpayer. Prior to June 2015, closing letters were distributed within around four to six months after the IRS' receipt of Form 706, and analysts say the changes could make estate closings more complex.

How the estate tax exemption is beneficial

Many Georgia residents have a very negative view about estate taxes, often calling them "death taxes." Very few Americans will actually have to think about paying estate taxes, however, as there is a federal estate tax exemption that removes a large amount from the calculus.

Foreign investors dodge owed estate taxes on U.S. assets

Georgia residents may be displeased to learn that many foreign holders of U.S. assets fail to pay estate taxes they should owe on those assets. Under U.S. tax law, foreign estates are required to pay estate taxes on such holdings when the owner passes away, but very few file these forms.

Gift-splitting and GRATs

Georgia residents with high-asset estates often use the gift-splitting election in order to remove assets from their estates' values. The IRS allows spouses to split their annual gifts which helps them to double the exclusion they would have otherwise enjoyed. A recent case demonstrates potential issues with taking the gift-splitting election for gifts made to fund grantor retained annuity trusts, however.

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