… Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
‘Cause I’m the taxman
Yeah, I’m the taxman
The Beatles song composed by George Harrison captured a common sentiment, but with proper planning taxes can be kept to a minimum and the tax attorneys at Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC are ready to assist. Our team works to develop a plan to minimize taxes during and after a client’s lifetime, utilizing a variety of techniques designed to maximize income and build wealth for our clients and transfer it efficiently to their children or other designated beneficiaries.
The tax planning department will guide clients on business and personal tax planning and will prepare estate and gift tax returns including assistance in resolving audits of estate and gift tax returns. In addition, we will consult with our clients to help them fully understand their retirement benefits and advise and develop strategies to maximize the benefits our clients and their heirs receive from their retirement plans. Key services in Tax Planning include:
Developing an Estate Plan to Maximize the use of the Estate Tax Exemption:
Does your existing estate plan provide for the maximum use of your estate tax exemption in order to maximize the wealth you transfer to the next generation? In 2023, the federal gift and estate tax exclusion rose to $12,920,000 per person up from $12,060,000 in 2022. In New York State, the estate tax exemption rose to $6,580,0000 up from $6,110,000 in 2022, and yet it’s important to know that if you pass away within three years – gifted assets are taxable in your estate. A step-up in basis is still available upon death which is an advantage to your beneficiaries, if planning is done precisely. Portability of exemptions between spouses for federal and estate tax purposes is also important to understand. We will review an existing plan and consult with you to develop strategies to maximize the use of your estate tax exemption.
Planning to Avoid the Cliff!
In New York, once an estate exceeds $6,580,000, the entire exemption noted above and the corresponding applicable credit against the New York Estate Tax is phased out to $0.00. The phasing out of the credit is complete at 105% of the New York exemption – the ‘cliff’ – and can have catastrophic tax consequences. The attorneys at Pierro, Connor & Strauss can you advise you on how to ‘beware the cliff’ by using lifetime gifts if three years prior to death, or in the case of married couples, by using credit shelter planning. Other powerful strategies include adding a clause to a will or trust with a charitable contribution or using a formula to fortify savings by employing a “Santa Clause” to pass the maximum amount to your heirs.
Preparing Estate and Gift Tax Returns and Resolving Audits:
Are you in need of someone to prepare an estate or gift tax return, or someone to help you resolve an audit with the federal or state revenue department, then we can assist you in preparing an estate or gift tax return, or in resolving an audit with the federal or state revenue department.
Use of Advanced Trusts to Maximize Wealth Transferred to the Next Generation:
Do you have the proper planning in place to maximize the wealth you pass to the next generation while reducing your estate and gift tax liability? We can assist you in developing a plan through the use of sophisticated trusts and planning techniques to remove appreciating assets from your estate and transferring the assets to your intended beneficiaries, while reducing your estate and gift tax liability. Examples include the Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLAT) to use current Gift and GST exemption of each spouse along with a gift & note sale to a Grantor Trust are effective in giving full control and access to funds during a spouse’s lifetime. Asset protection and reduced or zero estate tax are additional benefits that offer protection from multi-generational tax, divorce and lawsuits to children and grandchildren.