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Issue 5 – January, 2009

NAEPC Journal of Estate & Tax Planning

Editor’s Note: This “dinner menu” summary is designed to help you with the flavor of the article before you read more. If you are interested in the article, click its title to access a copy.

Regular Columns and Reports

Letter from the President of NAEPC
Author: Kathleen J. Belmonte, CTFA, AEP
Editor’s Column (PDF file)
Complexity of the Code
Author: John J. Scroggin, J.D., LL.M., AEP
Helpful Information (PDF file)
Information to help your Practice and Life
List of Conferences
2009-2010 Conferences on Estate, Financial and Tax Planning

Estate and Tax Planning Articles

Reciprocal Trust Planning (PDF file)
In this excellent five part article Mark Merric describes the rules governing reciprocal trusts and how to deal properly with this doctrine.
Author: Mark Merric, J.D.
Reinventing the Life Insurance Industry through the Application of the Uniform Prudent Investor Act (PDF file)
In this article, the authors discuss how the UPIA can change the manner in which insurance agents represent their clients.
Authors: Michael J. Brink, CLU, AEP and Thomas R. Love, CLU, FLMI
2009 Inflation and Other Tax Adjustments (PDF file)
This report from Steve Leimberg and Don Evans summarizes the changes to various inflation and other adjusting tax numbers for 2009
Authors: Steve Leimberg and Don Evans
Trust Owned Life Insurance: The CPA’s Role (PDF file)
This April 2008 article examines the issues that need to be addressed when CPAs serve as trustees of life insurance trusts.
Authors: Don Deans and William Nicholson
The Effect of Interest Rates in Estate Planning Strategies (PDF file)
This article examines the impact of interest rate reductions on many common estate planning techniques. With the AFTR rates at historically low levels, this article provides interesting planning perspectives.
Author: UBS Financial Services, Inc.

Practice Aids

The FDIC Guide to Deposit Insurance Coverage (PDF file)
We provide this updated FDIC guidebook to help both you and your clients understand the rules governing FDIC accounts – a frequent area of concern in these turbulent economic times.
The New Form 990 (PDF file)
The IRS has substantially changed the primary form used for reporting by charitable entities. This IRS report provides details on the new form. We provide this new update because many charities are unaware of the new reporting responsibilities.
Warnings for Outsourcing of Payroll Responsibilities (PDF file)
This excerpt from the IRS website provides practical warnings to employers who have third parties who assume their payroll tax responsibilities. Pass it on to your business clients who use payroll reporting companies.
Is Your Hobby a For-Profit Endeavor? (PDF file)
This excerpt from the IRS website provides simple factors for clients to consider when deciding whether an activity is a hobby or a for profit endeavor. Pass it on to clients who think the losses from their hobbies should be deductible.

Presentations and Outlines

Transfer Planning, including use of GRATs, Installment Sales to Grantor Trusts and Defined Value Clauses to Limit Gift Exposure (PDF file)
This June 2008 presentation to the State Bar of Texas Advanced Estate Planning Institute provides a comprehensive review of the innovative transfer planning.
Author: Steve R. Akers, J.D., Bessemer Trust

Studies and Reports

Historical Effective Federal  Tax Rates: 1979 to 2005 (PDF file)
This December 23, 2008 update of a CBO report provides information in Historic Tax Rates from 1979 to 2005.
IRS Tax Statistics (Web Link)
Visit this IRS website to obtain a broad range of data on federal taxes
Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations (PDF file)
Churches and religious institutions are notorious for failing to fully understand their federal tax responsibilities. This IRS publication provides an oversight of the tax benefits and responsibilities of churches. Pass it on to your local clergy and head of the finance committee.
Revenue and Distributional Effects of Reforming the Federal Estate Tax (Web Link)
Visit this website to see the Tax Policy Center’s report from October of last year.
Sources of Growth and Decline in Individual Income Tax Revenues Since 1994(PDF file)
This May 2008 report from the Congressional Budget Office shows the source of individual income taxes over the 13 years from 1994 to 2007.
Taxation of Wealth Transfers within a Family: a Discussion of Selected Areas for Possible Reform (PDF file)
This April 2008 report from the Senate Finance Committee discusses areas for possible reform, including Dynasty Trusts, Crummey Powers and Valuation.
Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report to Congress – Executive Summary (PDF file)
This January 2009 report the report discusses 21 problems facing taxpayers, makes dozens of recommendations for administrative change, proposes 17 recommendations for legislative change and analyzes the 10 tax issues most frequently litigated in the federal courts during the past fiscal year. It also contains a second volume that presents in-depth studies on three subjects – the penalty regime in the tax code, the development of a “filter” to protect low income Social Security recipients from automated levies and strategies to improve tax compliance by tax preparers and their clients. Also see the entire report on the IRS website.