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IS THE FIVE-MILLION DOLLAR GIFT TAX EXEMPTION ABOUT TO END?


January 18, 2011
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By Frank L. Brunetti | The Tax Relief Act of 2010 made significant changes to the gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax regimes by increasing the amount each individual can give without incurring tax from $1 million to $5 million. The increase was not permanent however, and rumor has it that it may be in jeopardy. To avoid any risk, those who have decided to use their full exemptions should do so no later than December 31, 2011, and, if feasible, November 22. Generally, loans between related parties are governed by the IRS code so that related parties cannot assign income without adverse tax consequences. There is a small exclusion between related parties so that a loan of $10,000 generally does not require that interest be charged. The Rumors Rumors circulating recently within the financial and estate-planning communities have suggested the $5 million exemptions may be in immediate jeopardy. Democratic staff on the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means recently proposed decreasing the $5 million gift, generation-skipping transfer tax and estate tax exemptions to $3.5 million, effective January 1, 2012. There also are rumors the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the Super Committee) may recommend a drop down in the gift tax exemption to $1 million, effective at year end, or possibly as early as November 23, 2011, when its recommendations are scheduled to be released, though there is no confirmation this rumor is true. As we all know “everything” is on the table before the super-committee (although they would not admit it), I would caution you to advise your clients of these developments and act sooner rather than later. Circular 230 requires that we notify you that, in the absence of written advice that strictly complies with such rules, you cannot rely on advice given to you relating to any Internal Revenue Code matter for protection against a tax penalty. This notice is neither intended to be used for the purpose of avoiding any tax penalty nor can it be relied on in support of any marketed transaction. It is our intention to continue to deliver the highest quality services to you and in a cost efficient manner. Please call us if you have and questions about how the Circular may affect our representation of you. This Scarinci Hollenbeck Legal Update has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.