Tag Archive for 'obama'

President Obama’s Budget (selected portions)

First, from Paul Caron of The Tax Prof Blog comes Tax Provisions in Obama’s Budget with some nice charts and a slew of links to similar reports.  This post is a great resource for some expanded reading and general knowledge about the budget.  JLM of the Trust and Wealth Management Marketing blog gives us the same link and some good commentary…  Such as:

What’s more, there are several Carter-esque tax hits proposed for the oil and gas industries. Because we all remember how great the windfall profits tax was at generating new energy sources within the U.S. Oh, wait . . .

The T&E/tax blogo-inter-web is sorely lacking in any appreciable sense of humor so I appreciate JLM’s efforts…  I wish I knew his real name though.  Anyone? JLM?  Beuhler?  Beuhler?

Next is The Tax Lady (aka Roni Deutch) via her Tax Lady Blog who discusses President Obama’s assertion that people will start to see some help by April 1.  Seriously, April 1?  Doesn’t the White House have a PR person on staff?  This is not the date to choose as a target for proposed economic relief resulting from the implementation of liberal tax policies.  Roni runs a great blog though, you should stop by and give it a read every so often…  I do.

Obama & The Estate Tax

I’ve touched on this before but the news is making the rounds yet again this morning:

President Obama plans to retain the estate tax and is looking to fix the individual exemption at its current level of $3.5 million per person.  There had been some talk during the campaign about perhaps making the exemption portable, but no mention of that amidst this morning’s sources.

Additionally, this WSJ article goes into a little more detail about what the democrats would like to see happen.

So, thankfully no surprises here.  (Thank goodness)

Estate Taxes: Obama vs McCain

From today’s WSJ and the Tax Prof Blog comes this comparison of the estate tax schemes under the two leading Presidential candidates:

They agree on more than you might think:

Raising the Individual Exemption:

For 2008, the basic federal estate-tax exemption is $2 million per person, and the top estate-tax rate is 45%. Next year, the exemption is scheduled to jump to $3.5 million, the largest one-year increase in history. For heirs of wealthy individuals who die after Dec. 31, the tax savings could be enormous.

In 2010, the estate tax is supposed to disappear completely — but most tax advisers think Congress won’t allow that to happen. Starting in 2011, the tax is set to spring back to life with an exemption of only $1 million and a top tax rate on the largest estates of 55%.

Sen. McCain proposes raising the exemption “as soon as possible” to $5 million and cutting the top tax rate to only 15%, says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, senior policy adviser. Sen. Obama wants to keep the exemption at $3.5 million and the top rate at 45%.

Portability. Both candidates agree the exemption amount should be easily portable. “Families should not be required to undertake complex and unnecessary financial planning or be penalized for failing to take advantage of sophisticated financial strategies,” says Jason Furman, economic policy director for the Obama campaign. The Democrats’ nominee “believes we should eliminate the estate tax for 99.7% of families — and this is part of his plan to accomplish that goal,” says Mr. Furman.

Portability:

Both candidates agree on changing the law to make the federal estate-tax exemption “portable,” senior advisers say. This issue is known as portability because the exemption per person — $2 million this year and $3.5 million next year — would become transferable from one spouse to the other, in effect doubling the surviving spouse’s exemption. In essence, that means that spouses would be able to use each other’s estate-tax exemption without first having to set up complex and costly trusts and take other steps that many people now feel obliged to do.

Valuations:

This is a key issue when calculating capital-gains taxes on the sale of inherited assets. Here’s an example: Suppose your cousin dies and leaves you stock he originally purchased decades ago for $100,000 and the value of that stock has grown to $500,000 as of the date of his death. Your tax basis typically would be $500,000 — or, under certain circumstances, the value six months after the date of death. That means you don’t have to figure out what your cousin originally paid for that stock. This system is scheduled to continue through next year and undergo major changes in 2010. Critics say those changes would create additional complexity and impose unfair recordkeeping burdens on taxpayers. Advisers to both candidates have said the candidates want to retain the current system.

For obvious reasons I’ll be watching where this goes after the election.