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There is no such thing as a year without change.

Even if the U.S. Congress has not recently enacted any significant new tax laws, we have a new regulatory tax authority, a Supreme Court case affecting a common financial strategy, and our own Florida legislature has recently acted to give us a new planning option, an improved planning option and the need to review a common planning strategy.

To help you understand these changes, we have prepared a summary of income, estate, and gift tax planning opportunities that should be considered prior to the end of the year.

Below are the range of topics we cover in the summary. For details, read the entire summary now.

Income tax, Medicare surtax and alternative minimum tax planning issues

  • Income tax rates remain the same, but brackets change slightly
  • Year-end stock and securities sales
  • Specific 3.8 percent Medicare surtax planning
  • The fixed AMT still requires fixing
  • Planning in anticipation of a corporate inversion
  • Return of expired tax incentives?
  • The new, simplified method for home office deduction

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Gift tax and estate planning issues

  • Gifts excluded from gift tax, including:
    • annual exclusion gifts
    • contributions to 529 plans
    • tuition and medical expense tax gift exclusions
  • Advanced gifting strategies, including:
    • use of increased lifetime gift tax exclusion amount and GST exemption
    • continued benefit of historically low interest rates
  • Estate plan review

Two additional sections of note:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that inherited IRA assets are not retirement funds.

It appears that Inherited IRAs are not what we once thought they were. Not only is the Obama Administration proposing to limit the opportunity of non-spouse beneficiaries to stretch out the distribution of IRA assets, the Supreme Court declined to confer “retirement funds” protection to IRA assets that were inherited from a parent. Read more >>

The Florida Legislature acts to add new trust technology and changes LLC rules.

The limited liability company (LLC) is an extremely useful tool for private wealth clients looking to achieve wealth transfer and asset protection.

On Jan. 1, 2015, every Florida LLC becomes subject to the Florida Revised Limited Liability Company Act.

Among other important changes, the revised statute does away with the concept of “managing member” for Florida LLCs. If you happen to have an LLC that has a designated “managing member,” you should have your company’s governing documents reviewed and seek advice as to whether those documents need to be amended. Read more >>

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Read the entire summary: Year-End Update at a Glance

Please contact any of Gunster’s private wealth services attorneys to discuss any item of interest to you.

Best wishes for a healthy and joyous holiday and new year.

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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 160 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 350 largest law firms. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.

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