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As a service to our clients and friends, we have prepared a summary of income, estate and gift tax planning opportunities that should be considered by you prior to the end of the year.

We certainly seem to have more clarity recently than we have for a number of years. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing new in the world of tax. Please read our year-end update of estate planning and tax issues to consider. Here is what you’ll find inside:

Income tax, Roth IRA & expiring deductions

  • Spreading income across tax years
  • Year-end stock and security sales
  • Specific 3.8% Medicare surtax planning
  • Payment of quarterly tax estimates
  • AMT survives another year
  • Roth IRAs look even better to top earners
  • Departing tax incentives after 2013
  • Recognition period for S corporation built-in gains

Gift tax and estate planning

  • Annual exclusion gifts
  • Special rule for contributions to 529 plans
  • Tuition and medical expense gift tax exclusions
  • Taxable gifts: use of increased lifetime gift tax exclusion amount and GST exemption
  • Continued benefit of historically low interest rates
  • Estate plan review

Tax implications of same-sex marriage

Just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling, the IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 announcing that the IRS will recognize “all legal same-sex marriages … for federal tax purposes.”

The rulings now allow same-sex married couples to:

  • file a joint tax return that could result in a lower combined tax liability;
  • take advantage of more favorable stretch-out rules for retirement plans;
  • make use of the unlimited marital deduction for transfers to spouses during life or at death;
  • transfer the deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exclusion amount of the surviving spouse; and
  • other tax benefits (and burdens) of marriage.

Further, married taxpayers are permitted to retroactively rely on the ruling and, if beneficial to them and within the statute of limitations, amend previously filed tax returns to establish a claim for past overpayments.

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

Although this is a general overview, Gunster’s Private Wealth Services attorneys are happy to discuss in detail any item of specific interest to you.

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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 client’s 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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