How will the Biden Administration’s Proposed Tax Plan affect me?

Merrell and Krystal discuss the proposed tax plan under the Biden administration and the importance of getting the information out to clients.

Most proposed changes affect those individuals with taxable income rates over $400,000. There are also substantial changes for investors and corporations, and changes to the gift and estate tax codes. Among other tax credit changes, Biden’s first time homebuyers’ credit would provide up to $15,000.

Timestamps

:45 – We know our clients want to know if their estate plans will need revision

1:10 – The proposed changes affect individual income tax rates, corporate income tax rates, federal estate taxes and lifetime gifting limits. Most changes affect those with taxable income over $400,000

1:49 – The donut hole in the Social Security payroll tax

2:55 – Top taxable income rate changes from 37% to 39.6% (applies to income over $400,000)

3:35 – What about itemized deductions?

4:06 – Long term capital gains changes are a BIG change to investors

4:33 – Qualified business income deductions (Section 199A) will be phased out

4:47 – Real estate opportunity zones and capital gains exemptions

5:43 – Tax benefits for renewable energy and expiring solar energy credit

6:38 – Corporate income tax rate increases from 21% to 28%

6:55 – Estate tax and gift tax changes. One proposal involves restoring them to the 2009 level

8:54 – Additionally, the step-up in basis could be eliminated. This is problematic for a number of reasons

10:21 – Implications of losing step-up in basis when it comes to inheriting property

13:27 – Because Congress will make the rules, we probably don’t want to make changes until we see what happens

14:10 – Merrell pleads with Biden to 1) not to make anything retroactive 2) or make the gift tax exemption and the estate tax exemption bifurcated and 3) take away the step-up in basis

15:00 – Krystal discusses strategic gifting for clients with a large combined net worth before the end of the year

16:56 – Additional changes include expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Dependent Care Tax Credit, and re-establishing the First Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit.

17:35 – Brief discussion of the current housing market

Tax Bosses’ detailed notes:

Most of the proposed income tax changes affect those individuals with taxable income over $400,000 and include:
  • Imposing a 12.4 percent Social Security payroll tax on income earned above $400,000, evenly split between employers and employees. This would create a “donut hole” in the current Social Security payroll tax, where wages between $137,700, the current wage cap, and $400,000 are not taxed.
  • Reverting the top individual income tax rate for taxable incomes above $400,000 from 37 percent under current law to the pre-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act level of 39.6 percent.
  • Capping the tax benefit of itemized deductions to 28 percent of value for those earning more than $400,000, which means that taxpayers earning above that income threshold with tax rates higher than 28 percent would face limited itemized deductions.
  • Imposing a limitation on itemized deductions for taxable incomes above $400,000.
  • Phasing out the qualified business income deduction (Section 199A) for filers with taxable income above $400,000.
  • Taxes long-term capital gains and qualified dividends at the ordinary income tax rate of 39.6 percent on income above $1 million
Proposed corporate income tax changes include:
  • Increasing the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.
  • Creating a minimum tax on corporations with book profits of $100 million or higher. The minimum tax is structured as an alternative minimum tax—corporations will pay the greater of their regular corporate income tax or the 15 percent minimum tax while still allowing for net operating loss (NOL) and foreign tax credits.
  • Expands the New Markets Tax Credit and makes it permanent. The NMTC Program attracts private capital into low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax in exchange for making equity investments in specialized financial intermediaries called Community Development Entities (CDEs). The credit totals 39 percent of the original investment amount and is claimed over a period of seven years.
  • Offers tax credits to small business for adopting workplace retirement savings plans.
  • Expands several renewable-energy-related tax credits, including tax credits for carbon capture, use, and storage as well as credits for residential energy efficiency, and a restoration of the Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit. The Biden plan would also end tax subsidies for fossil fuels.
Proposed federal estate and gift tax changes include:
  • Restoring the federal estate and gift tax rates and exemption to the 2009 level. In 2009, the federal estate tax exemption amount was $3.5 million and the lifetime gift exemption was $1 million. The maximum tax rate was 45%.  There is also talk that the exemption amount might be in the $3.5 – $6 million range, but even on the highest end, that is ½ of what we currently have.  And the lifetime gifting may no longer be tied to the federal estate tax exemption.
  • Eliminating step-up in basis at death for capital gains taxation.
Some additional proposals that may be of interest to advisors and our clients include:
Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers aged 65+; provides renewable-energy-related tax credits to individuals.
Expanding the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) from a maximum of $3,000 in qualified expenses to $8,000 ($16,000 for multiple dependents) and increases the maximum reimbursement rate from 35 percent to 50 percent.
For 2021 and as long as economic conditions require, increases the Child Tax Credit (CTC) from a maximum value of $2,000 to $3,000 for children 17 or younger, while providing a $600 bonus credit for children under 6. The CTC would also be made fully refundable, removing the $2,500 reimbursement threshold and 15 percent phase-in rate.
Reestablishing the First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit, which was originally created during the Great Recession to help the housing market. Biden’s homebuyers’ credit would provide up to $15,000 for first-time homebuyers.

Details and Analysis from the Tax Foundation

Summary of Changes from the Wall Street Journal

Higher Taxes on Corporations and the Wealthy

The SECURE Act of 2020 (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement):

  • is changing retirement, and it may change how your wealth is distributed;
  • it may require a check-in with your estate planner to adjust your estate plan’s language and/or structure to do what you originally intended;
  • or if you’re an advisor, it may require a check-in with the estate planner and other financial professionals in your client’s sphere

Timestamps

:30 Krystal and Merrell introduce the impacts to qualified retirement plans and what changes after the planholder passes away. What should advisors expect from other advisors in response to the SECURE Act?

1:30 The rules before 2020…inherited IRAs, rollover IRAs, and ability of a beneficiary to stretch distributions over their life expectancy

2:33 As estate planning attorneys we considered passing wealth to another generation in IRA trusts. (A two-year old grandchild as example)

3:38 Krystal outlines the rules now, as of January 2020. If you inherit an IRA and are not a spouse, the entirety of the retirement plan must be paid out within ten years (and associated income tax)

5:00 Merrell discusses the SECURE Act in context of leaving wealth to grandchildren…

5:52 Exceptions to the ten year rule include: a surviving spouse; and person that fits the SECURE Act’s definition of  disabled and chronically ill persons; a beneficiary that is fewer than ten years younger than the planholder; and a minor child – not grandchild – until the age of majority

7:30 Krystal talks about revisiting client goals and trust provisions with CPAs and financial advisors

8:30 Merrell compares beneficiary possibilities – either as a trust or as a human, and the respective tax rates for each; she explains how the trust may need to have accumulation language so as not to force distributions and give the trustee some discretion

10:52 Common trusts (aka pot trusts, multiple beneficiary trusts) vs. Separate trusts; spreading the IRA tax hit

14:43 Explaining to the client how the 2020 SECURE Act laws are different than when we did their initial planning, and opening up the possibility of letting other assets appreciate

16:00 Merrell compares the relative risk of setting up a structure that requires the trustee to distribute wealth that will harm the beneficiary vs. taking the tax hit under the new law

17:28 Takeaways for estate planning clients as well as their advisors; revisiting your plan with your estate planning attorney to make sure it still makes sense and if an advisor, reaching out to make sure the client has the option to make changes

Resources

Other provisions of the SECURE Act 

If you like charts, National Association of Planners’ summary points of SECURE Act

 

In this episode of Tax Boss, we discuss titling and homestead, tenancy in common, and how state law can change the outcome of your estate plan if you’re not paying attention!

Resources

Florida Statute 732.7025 to waive spousal homestead rights

Timestamps

1:17 What happens when you have jointly owned property, and you don’t want the co-owner to inherit it? Florida’s homestead laws

2:36 Colorado homestead laws and value of total estate (Family Allowance and Exempt Property Allowance)

4:00 Options in handling a jointly held homestead

6:30 Differences between tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety (TBE), and joint tenancy with rights of survivorship (JTROS)

9:15 In JROTS properties, either party can sever the JROTS and bring it to Tenants in Common; both members in Tenants by the Entirety would have to agree

10:30 Approaching personal estate planning assets in four quadrants: 1. Joint tenancy by entirety or rights of survivorship; 2. Anything that has a beneficiary designation form; 3. Anything owned by them individually that would be a probate asset; and 4. Trust asset (if they have a trust.)

13:15 Does your attorney understand Florida Statute 732.7025 or will they create an invalid deed?

In this episode of Tax Boss we discuss portability and estate planning, transfer taxes between married couples, prenups and generation-skipping transfer tax.

Resources

IRS form 706 (Revised November 2018)

Timestamps

1:43 Portability and transfer taxes between married couples (11.2 million dollars exemption currently, 22.4 together)

2:43 “I love you” Wills

3:50 how portability works and filing an estate tax return form 706

5:12 capturing the portable amount before Congress changes their mind

6:20 what about getting re-married? How would the IRS handle the prenup?

8:07 the generation skipping transfer tax is not portable