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Taxes are a part of life in North Carolina, but you still have options to protect as much of your income and assets as possible through effective tax planning. Though commonly associated with federal estate taxes, there are many other methods to legally reduce your tax liability and that which your beneficiaries may incur.

Our tax planning attorneys at Howard Stallings have extensive experience and comprehensive knowledge of federal tax laws, and we apply these skills when advising clients on a wide range of options. Please contact our firm to learn more about our tax planning services for individuals and married couples of all financial backgrounds.

Tax Planning for Federal Estate Tax Purposes

Though the terms death or inheritance tax are often used to describe federal estate tax, regulations issued by the Internal Revenue Service define it as a transfer tax. Your heirs and beneficiaries could incur tax liability when assets are transferred to them through the Unified Transfer Tax, which incorporates three distinct concepts. Our attorneys can assist with tax planning as it pertains to:

Estate Taxes: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) establishes an $11.4 million exemption on estate taxes for 2019, above which point your estate could be subject to federal estate tax liability. The specifics depend on when you pass away, since the exemption amount is adjusted annually for inflation. There are ways to maximize the exemption, especially for married couples who can safeguard almost $23 million with the right tax planning. Plus, you can take advantage of “portability” rules to share any unused exemption amount with your spouse.

Gift Taxes: Federal tax laws link gift tax liability to estate taxes, which enables you to employ lifetime gift giving to reduce your federal estate tax liability upon death. However, skillful tax planning is important to ensure you’re getting full advantage of the unified gift-estate tax exemption. Any amounts you gift that fall within the annual gift exclusion don’t count toward the exemption, and a lawyer can advise you on how to make sure the amounts are properly applied.

Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes: Tax planning can also provide advantages in connection with the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Exemption (GSTT), which impacts transfers to two or more generational levels below your own. Proper planning can accomplish many objectives and transfer significant wealth without incurring tax liability.

Tax Planning for Other Estate Planning Goals

The federal estate tax doesn’t affect to estates valued less than the exemption amount, but there are many other reasons to consider tax planning. Our attorneys can advise you on the opportunities and benefits, based upon your specific needs and family situation. We’re happy to explain your options with respect to:

  • Capital gains taxes;
  • Taxes for beneficiaries of IRA accounts;
  • Maximizing your Social Security income;
  • Tax planning for retirement;
  • Interest-earning accounts;
  • Taxes on investment property; and,
  • Many other tax planning alternatives.

Contact Our Attorneys in Raleigh, New Bern or Morehead City

Our clients seeking representation in tax planning trust Howard Stallings to advocate to mitigate their potential losses. Our reputation for litigation throughout North Carolina speaks for itself. Call us today at 919-821-7700 or contact our office online. Free parking is available at our locations.

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