2010, as part of the Job Creation Act, Congress allowed a surviving spouse to utilize a previously deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exclusion.  This planning technique is known as “portability.”  In 2012, as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, portability became permanent (or as permanent as any federal statute can be).  One of the […]

The federal tax code (the “Code”) offers several benefits (and a few burdens) to married couples.  In 1996, the United States Congress passed a statute known as the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”).  Under DOMA, with respect to any federal statute, a married couple meant a husband and wife; a man married to a woman.  […]

Beginning in the 2014 tax year, when a taxpayer’s Adjusted Gross Income (“AGI”) exceeds a threshold amount, the taxpayer will be subject to a 3.8% tax on his or her net investment income.  Net investment income includes income from a business in which the taxpayer does not “materially participate.”  The section of the Internal Revenue […]

For a long time, estate planners have been focused primarily on the transfer taxes (estate, gift and generation skipping), while minimizing income tax planning when planning with their clients. An example of this would be lifetime gifting. Many an estate planner has pontificated ad nauseum about the power of the gift; if the annual exemption […]

Attorney Maier will speak at the upcoming “Key Planning Issues for Financial Professionals” seminar hosted by the Milwaukee Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. His talk is entitled “What Do We Do Now?