The Tax Path Ahead – Hard times for Rich Folks

Regardless of who wins the White House, Camarda thinks that across the board tax hikes will painfully erode the wealth of readers of this space soon, and worse in years to come, and that astute tax planning has never been more important. This has already begun, with the highest top income tax rates in a long, long time already on the books, and pending elimination of the time-honored valuation discounts that have for decades helped wealthy families avoid or reduce estate tax. As most know, Social Security and Medicare are in deep trouble, and hurtling toward an insolvency that will inevitably force rates up – soon! Payroll taxes are again going up – higher income wage earners will see a 7.3% hike (FICA SS base going from $118.5K to $127.2K in ‘17), even though Social Security recipients will see no real bump in benefit checks. The wealthiest 30% of Medicare recipients – which probably include you if you are reading this – will see increases to the already-high premiums they pay, which subsidize costs for the other 70%. Proposals like Mrs. Clinton’s plan to sharply increase estate taxes by cutting the estate tax exemption by about 40% and the gift tax exemption by over 80% (exemptions are the amounts you can leave or give before the tax kicks in), plus raise the tax rates, plus charge capital gains taxes in addition to estate taxes at death (capital gains taxes have long been forgiven at death) are really just the beginning. Proper wealth management addresses tax control, estate planning, asset protection planning, retirement income planning, as well as investments and other matters to target optimal wealth. Going forward, erudite tax planning may quickly become the very most valuable aspect of financial advice, and this is an area where Camarda truly believes it is among the best in the world – and proud to serve you in.

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