Jul 2, 2013

The Overturning of DOMA has Broad Tax Implications

Authored by: Paul J. Sowell, Esq. In a 5-4 decision issued this past Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, paving the way for the federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said that the act wrote inequality into federal law and violated the Fifth Amendment’s protection of equal liberty: “DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty. It imposes a disability on the class by refusing to acknowledge a status the State finds… Read more

May 13, 2013

“There is nothing permanent except change.” -Heraclitus

Authored by: Paul J. Sowell Just when those impacted by the moving target that was the gift and estate tax exemption collectively sighed in relief at the passage of the fiscal cliff deal, it appears the celebration may have been premature.  President Obama recently released his proposed budget for 2014 where he seeks to revisit the exemption amounts. Under the President’s proposed budget, the gift and estate exemption would be reduced to the 2009 level of $3.5 million and the estate tax rate would be set at 45% starting in 2018.  In addition to fiddling with the gift and estate… Read more

Apr 2, 2012

Going… Going… Almost Gone

Authored by: Paul J. Sowell, Esq. In a day of shrinking state coffers you would think that more and more states, in a last chance to grab revenue, would be looking to the estates of their deceased wealthy residents as a source of money.  Actually, you would be wrong. The growing trend among states which have a gift and/or estate or inheritance tax regime has been to repeal these onerous taxes.  Why would this be you may ask? An interesting study published this year by the Beacon Center of Tennessee looked at Tennessee’s death and gift taxes and concluded the… Read more