WELCOME AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Now that January, 2017 has arrived and the year 2016 is behind us, we can and should focus on the changes in tax law quite likely to occur in 2017 or 2018, including probably repeal of the Federal estate tax. Ever since enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (became law 1/3/13), estate planning professionals have struggled with how to convince clients still to consider estate planning important. The fact that 99%+ of all American families will not face any Federal estate tax liability dampened greatly client interest in estate planning. That may actually be tax advisors' fault, having over-concentrating on estate tax savings, such as through valuation discounts for interests in partnerships and other pass-through entities.
Yet now it is quite clear that there are many reasons for estate and succession planning that are not specifically designed to escape the Federal estate tax, or its companion the gift tax. These include planning where a "blended marriage" or where there is a non-traditional/same sex marriage. Also, the succession of management is so important that it never should be overlooked in estate planning. Especially where there is a family-controlled business entity, planning for the succession both of equity and management is very necessary.
And now we have, on January 20th, Donald J. Trump becoming the 45th President of the U.S., with major "tax reform" high on his action agenda. Further, the House Republicans on June 24, 2016 released their "A Better Way" detailed tax plan, from which no doubt the principal provisions in a new tax bill will be taken. The House Ways & Means Committee is where tax legislation begins, and so we must watch for the new tax bill, expected to be filed by early summer, 2017
SEE MY NOVEMBER 10, 2016 NEWSLETTER which summarizes briefly the Trump Tax Plan - remembering that it must be coordinated with the House Republicans' own plan, and both will be subject to the usual Congressional battle over a tax bill, with plenty of input no doubt from lobbyists.
NEW CPE COURSE ON 2017-2018 TAX LAW CHANGES
Sponsored by Eli Financial/AudioSolutionz, I will present live on the internet a 2-hour course for CPAs and other tax professionals, as well as for CEOs and CFOs of family-owned companies - the course date is January 19, 2017 - check out www.elifinancial.com for the details on time, cost and materials provided. My live presentation will be accompanied by a detailed outline, over 60 power point slides, and other practice-friendly materials provided participants.
In addition, both on January 13th and February 7th, this same course - titled "Estate & Succession Planning Under A Trump Administration" - will be sponsored, again live presentations by me, by CPE Solutions/CPE Credit. Check out www.cpecredit.com for details.
Knowledge of coming tax law changes, even though uncertain and even in part ambiguous at this time, is important for tax practitioners and their clients. Planning should and really must consider possible law changes, even if only to get certain steps in a plan completed prior to the effective date of an adverse change in law.
My upcoming special "Trump Effect" course will cover all the current tax proposals, consider the current state of the tax law, and review important planning issues that should be considered by tax advisors and their clients. Join me in one of these courses, and know I am available to answer questions during or, via email to email@example.com, after the live presentation.
OTHER CPE COURSES - SPONSORED BY CPECREDIT.COM
In addition to the "Trump Effect" course, I am presenting in January and February (then later in May-June and October-December) for cpecredit.com five(5) detailed courses on estate and succession planning topics, including one specifically on Valuation, one on Trusts & Pass-Through Entities, one on Buy-Sell and Deferred Compensation Agreements. Each course has its own power point slide deck, a detailed outline and appendices, including a Selected Bibliography of Resources to help advisors fully understand the course content. The remaining two(2) courses are "Estate & Succession Planning for the 99%" (1/20/17) and "Family Succession Planning New Developments - 2012-2017"(1/27/17). I look forward to you joining me with CPE Credit for these important courses, enabling tax professionals truly to raise their level of service to key clients in 2017.
POSTSCRIPT ON IRC SEC. 2704 & PROPOSED NEW TREASURY REGULATIONS ADVERSELY IMPACTING FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESSES
As I mentioned in my October 19th Newsletter last year, the Treasury Department, after years of struggling with Sec. 2704, published in August, 2016 Proposed Treas. Regs. on 2704, which taken as a whole appeared to substantially and adversely affect families with investment and business entities, i.e. restricting the shifting of equity with favorable valuation adjustments to younger generation family members. The tax professions generally opposed these new rules, as evidenced by the near uniform comments made at the Washington, D.C. Public Hearing held December 1, 2016. Now with the election of Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress in place, the future of the proposals by Treasury is in jeopardy. In fact, House Republicans have called for Treasury to withdraw these rules entirely, so we will see what happens sometime this year. This is something that must be taken into account by planners in working with their family business clients.
We here in North Idaho, as many other places in our country, have had lots of snow, plus quite low temperatures that have kept the snow from melting - so it just continues to pile up! I am looking forward to my webinars, as laid out above, and wish my readers a healthy, successful 2017!
Owen Fiore, JD
"On the Wild & Scenic Middle Fork of the Clearwater River", Hwy 12, in the Idaho Panhandle!