Home / Estate Planning / Why are You Paying this Optional Tax to the Government?

Why are You Paying this Optional Tax to the Government?

Dec 2, 2014 | Estate Planning, Estate Tax

Estate Planning“For years, the income tax and gift and estate tax laws have been modified and amended to the degree that only tax lawyers and accountants could really make any sense out of them. Now, with the advent of the Tax Reform Act of 1976 and all of its cross implications, not even the tax lawyers and accountants are so sure of themselves.” – Robert S. Taft, New York Law Journal, Dec. 30, 1976

The only American that I can recall that enjoyed paying taxes was Oliver Wendell Holmes. I hate paying taxes. You hate paying taxes. We all hate working eighty-two days a year to pay those taxes.

Those taxes – taxes on income – are unavoidable. They come out or your paycheck or are remitted to the government on a quarterly basis.

Estate taxes are not taxes on income, but taxes on the amount of stuff you have when you die. And the tax rates are steep – going up to 40% to the Internal Revenue Service and goes up to about 16% for New York. However, on the state side is a nasty snag, which we’ve written about recently in another post.

However, this tax is an optional tax. With proper tax planning, the tax can be drastically reduced and, sometimes, eliminated.

The first step on eliminating this tax is of course to take stock of what you have and who you’d like to give it to.

To organize your thoughts, we have created a planning questionnaire that you may find quite useful. To get a copy of the questionnaire, just fill out the email form below and we will send it to you.

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Feel free to contact us with questions.


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I formerly worked as a satellite employee from my home state of New Jersey. I ended my employment with my former employer in 2016. In 2018, I was sued by my former employer for $1.1 million in Illinois State Court. I was referred to Brinen & Associates, LLC by a friend who is a client of the firm. Brinen & Associates, LLC came highly recommended. I contacted Joshua Brinen and then had a consultation at his office with his colleague Mark White. Together, Messrs. Brinen and White explained my options...

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