Category: Capital Gains Tax

Owning a Second Home creates Unique Tax Implications

Owning a Second Home creates Unique Tax Implications

Many people dream of owning a cabin or a sunny beach house away from their homes. While these dreams are beautiful, buying a second home isn’t as simple as picking a new getaway. Your second home can increase your tax burden more than your first. Owning a second home creates unique tax implications to keep in mind. According to Central Trust, understanding the strings attached to a second home is a must.

If you already own one home, purchasing a second means doubling up on property tax bills. Your deductions for state and local taxes are also capped at $10,000. State taxes on your primary home often reach that limit on their own. As a result, a second home may increase your tax liability much more than you’d expect. While you can deduct mortgage payments on your second home, it’s limited to a combined total of $750,000 for both residences.

There are tax benefits if you plan to rent and limit personal use to 14 days or 10% of rental days. Doing so allows you to deduct utilities, maintenance and improvement costs as you would for any other rental property. However, be careful – renting to relatives at market rate still counts as personal use.

When selling your primary residence, you can usually exclude a portion of the gains from taxes. However, this isn’t the case with a second home. Your vacation house is taxed as an investment property, which means capital gains can go up to 23.8%.

However, there’s a way to avoid paying capital gains tax on your second home. You may avoid capital gains tax if you live in it as your primary residence for at least two of the five years before you sell. Considering the average home price in America today, a lower tax rate can amount to impressive savings.

On the other hand, lost rental revenue or an increased cost of living could detract from these savings. Weigh the costs and benefits before choosing your tax management strategy.

Maintaining solid records is crucial if you’re renting out a second home. If the IRS audits your return and you can’t provide evidence, you could face extra taxes and penalties. Keep receipts, bills and documents detailing any expenses related to the property. If you plan to avoid capital gains tax by living in the home, keep proof of your residence and travel during the time in question.

The thrill of buying a second home should not overshadow the importance of thorough estate planning. Consult a tax professional or financial advisor to avoid costly mistakes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Double the Taxes: Owning a second home brings a second set of property tax and mortgage interest bills.
  • Rental Benefits: Renting out your vacation home could offer tax deductions.
  • Capital Gains Tax: Selling a second home could subject you to up to 23.8% capital gains tax. Living there for two of five years before selling can help avoid this.
  • Record Keeping is Essential: Proper documentation of expenses and rental income is crucial to avoid penalties in case of an IRS audit.
  • Consult an Advisor: Seek guidance from tax or estate planning professionals to create a sound plan and minimize tax implications.

Owning a second home creates unique tax implications that can cause a headache for your estate planning. Discuss the topics in this post with your estate planning attorney before you purchase that dream second home. If you would like to learn more about tax planning for real property, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: Centraltrust (March 2024) “Second Homes & Tax Implications – Central Trust Company”

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New IRS Tax Rule affects Irrevocable Trusts in Estate Planning

New IRS Tax Rule affects Irrevocable Trusts in Estate Planning

Trusts have been foundational estate planning strategies for decades and are becoming more popular as economic shifts and the aging population highlight unique estate planning goals. An irrevocable trust is one practical estate planning strategy for excluding assets from an estate’s taxable value, safeguarding wealth and helping to meet asset threshold limits for government benefits like Medicaid. The Tax Advisor details how the 2023-2 IRS tax rule has significantly impacted estate planning strategies, particularly irrevocable trusts. We look at how this new IRS tax rule affects irrevocable trusts in your estate planning.

Capital gains taxes are the heart of the IRS Rule 2023-2 changes. Individuals pay taxes on the difference between an asset’s purchase price and a higher sell price as that asset’s value grows over time. The original purchase price is their cost basis or non-taxed value. Amounts over the cost basis are taxed as a capital gain. Assets include property, investments, cars and anything providing income or profit. If you create or update an estate plan, the IRS rule may change your estate planning or updates in 2024. Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to find the right type of trust for your goals and structure it accordingly.

The cost basis for an asset’s beneficiaries significantly impacts capital gains taxes once they sell. Capital gains from the deceased’s date of purchase will be much higher than fair market value on the date of death. An irrevocable trust typically gave heirs a break by calculating an inherited asset’s capital gains from the fair market value at the owner’s death. That tax break has changed.

The IRS issued Rule 2023-2 in early 2023, which impacts an inherited asset’s cost basis for capital gains taxes. The cost basis was calculated on the fair market value on the date of death but is based on the deceased’s date of purchase as of March 2023. Calculating taxes from the date of purchase is considered a “step-down,” meaning a lower cost base and higher capital gains. Conversely, the date of death means fair market value at a higher cost basis and less capital gains.

The main differentiator with an irrevocable trust is its ability to exclude assets from an estate’s valuation. The person establishing an irrevocable trust technically no longer owns the assets. This type of trust is a strategy that helps older adults applying for Medicaid benefits meet maximum thresholds.

With the new IRS rule, assets in an irrevocable trust are not part of the owner’s taxable estate at their death and are not eligible for the fair market valuation when transferred to an heir. The 2023-2 rule doesn’t give an heir the higher cost basis or fair market value of the inherited asset. Once they sell that asset, capital gains taxes are calculated using the value when the deceased purchased it.

Families increasingly use irrevocable trusts to safeguard assets from spend-down for government benefits, like Medicaid and VA Aid and Attendance.

Future considerations must include reevaluating how irrevocable trusts are structured to navigate the evolving tax landscape effectively. Planning strategies need to adapt to ensure that assets are protected, and taxes are minimized for the benefit of future generations.

This new IRS tax rule raises important considerations about how it might affect irrevocable trust estate planning. While it may seem like irrevocable trust planning could lead to additional taxes for beneficiaries, the reality is more nuanced. Future considerations in estate planning involve setting up irrevocable trusts that align with new IRS rules. If you would like to learn more about irrevocable trusts, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: The Tax Advisor (Nov. 1, 2023) “Rev. Rul. 2023-2’s Impact on Estate Plans.”

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The Estate of The Union Season 3|Episode 6

The Estate of The Union Season 3|Episode 3 is out now!

The Estate of The Union Season 3|Episode 3 is out now! Taxes come in all favors. Sales taxes, excise taxes, capital gains taxes, etc. We are all concerned about our income taxes as we approach April 15th. Many of us will believe we pay way too much, and nobody will feel like they should pay more! But there’s another tax to be concerned about: The Death Tax.

 In this edition of The Estate of the Union, Brad Wiewel dissects the Death tax and it’s first cousin, the Gift Tax and explains them in a way that everyone can understand. He also sheds like on what is going to happen on January 1, 2026 – unless Congress changes the law; so, stand by!

 

In each episode of The Estate of The Union podcast, host and lawyer Brad Wiewel will give valuable insights into the confusing world of estate planning, making an often daunting subject easier to understand. It is Estate Planning Made Simple! The Estate of The Union Season 3|Episode 3 is out now! The episode can be found on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or anywhere you get your podcasts. If you would prefer to watch the video version, please visit our YouTube page. Please click on the links to listen to or watch the new installment of The Estate of The Union podcast. We hope you enjoy it.

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Texas Trust Law focuses its practice exclusively in the area of wills, probate, estate planning, asset protection, and special needs planning. Brad Wiewel is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We provide estate planning services, asset protection planning, business planning, and retirement exit strategies.

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Adjustment in Cost Basis is a Crucial Tax Consideration

Adjustment in Cost Basis is a Crucial Tax Consideration

The adjustment in cost basis is a crucial tax consideration. The adjustment in the cost basis is sometimes overlooked in estate planning, even though it can be a tax game-changer. Under this tax provision, an inherited asset’s cost basis is determined not by what the original owner paid but by the value of the asset when it is inherited after the original owner’s death.

Since most assets appreciate over time, as explained in the article “Maximizing Inheritance With A Step Up” from Montgomery County News, this adjustment is often referred to as a “step-up” basis. A step-up can create significant tax savings when assets are sold and is a valuable way for beneficiaries to maximize their inheritance.

In most cases, assets included in the decedent’s overall estate will receive an adjustment in basis. Stocks, land, and business interests are all eligible for a basis adjustment. Others, such as Income in Respect of the Decedent (IRD), IRAs, 401(k)s, and annuities, are not eligible.

Under current tax law, the cost basis is the asset’s value on the date of the original owner’s death. The asset may technically accrue little to no gain, depending on how long they hold it before selling it and other factors regarding its valuation. The heir could face little to no capital gains tax on the asset’s sale.

Of course, it’s not as simple as this, and your estate planning attorney should review assets to determine their eligibility for a step-up. Some assets may decrease in value over time, while assets owned jointly between spouses may have different rules for basis adjustments when one of the spouses passes. The rules are state-specific, so check with a local estate planning attorney.

To determine whether the step-up basis is helpful, clarify estate planning goals. Do you own a vacation home you want to leave to your children or investments you plan to leave to grandchildren? Does your estate plan include philanthropy? Reviewing your current estate plan through the lens of a step-up in basis could lead you to make some changes.

Let’s say you bought 20,000 shares of stock ten years ago for $20 a share, with the original cost-basis being $400,000. Now, the shares are worth $40 each, for a total of $800,000. You’d like your adult children to inherit the stock.

There are several options here. You could sell the shares, pay the taxes, and give your children cash. You could directly transfer the shares, and they’d receive the same basis in your stock at $20 per share. You could also name your children as beneficiaries of the shares.

As long as the shares are in a taxable account and included in your gross estate when you die, your heirs will get an adjustment in basis based on the fair market value on the day of your passing.

If the fair market value of the shares is $50 when you die, your heirs will receive a step up in basis to $50. The gain of $30 per share will pass to your children with no tax liability.

Tax planning is part of a comprehensive estate plan, and the adjustment in cost basis is a crucial tax consideration. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you and your family minimize tax liabilities. If you would like to learn more about tax planning, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: Montgomery County News (Dec. 20, 2023) “Maximizing Inheritance With A Step Up”

 

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Houses make horrible Wealth Transfer Vehicles

Houses make horrible Wealth Transfer Vehicles

Houses make for horrible wealth transfer vehicles. Bequeathing a house can mean passing along financial burdens, red tape, home maintenance responsibilities, potential family conflict and housing market volatility, says Kiplinger’s recent article, “Your Home Would Be a Terrible Inheritance for Your Kids.”

Communication about plans is critical. A study from Money & Family found that 68% of homeowners plan to leave a home or property to heirs. However, 56% haven’t told them about their plans. That will surprise the recipients who may or may not want or be able to service an inherited home.

Suppose you bequeath a house to an heir or heirs. In that case, they’ll have to make an immediate plan for home maintenance, mortgage payments (if necessary), utilities, property taxes, repairs and homeowners’ insurance. Zillow says this can amount to as much as $9,400 annually, not including mortgage payments.

The psychology of the home. Owners often have deep emotional attachments to their homes. Therefore, when people gift their homes to children and heirs, they’re not just giving an asset — they’re endowing them with all the good memories that were made on that property. Emotional connections to the home can be nearly as powerful as a strong attachment to a living being.

Beneficiaries may struggle to make practical choices about the inherited property because of the home’s sentimental value. This emotional aspect can cloud judgment and hinder the effective management and allocation of assets.

The financial burdens and family conflicts for beneficiaries. Inheriting a home entails a range of financial responsibilities that can quickly add up.

Property taxes, insurance premiums, ongoing maintenance costs and unexpected repairs can strain beneficiaries’ financial resources dramatically. If beneficiaries already have their own homes, inheriting an additional property can exacerbate financial burdens and potentially hinder their own financial goals, retirement plans and aspirations. The passing of a family member can also sometimes lead to conflicts among heirs, potentially exacerbating existing fractures in relationships among siblings and other family members. These are just a few reasons why houses make for horrible wealth transfer vehicles.

According to a 2018 study, nearly half (44%) of respondents saw family strife during an estate settlement. Disagreements can cause tension, strain relationships and even result in lengthy legal battles. If you would like to learn more about managing real property in your estate planning, please visit our previous posts. 

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Estate Planning can be a Powerful Part of a Financial Strategy

Estate Planning can be a Powerful Part of a Financial Strategy

Estate planning can be a powerful part of a financial strategy to ensure the smooth transfer of assets to the next generation while yielding significant tax savings, as explained in a recent article, “Maximizing wealth: The power of strategic estate planning in tax savings” from Thomasville Times-Enterprise.

Estate planning generally involves arranging assets and personal affairs to facilitate an efficient transfer to beneficiaries. However, there’s a tax angle to consider. Estates are subject to various taxes, including estate, inheritance and capital gains taxes. Without a good estate plan, taxes can take a big bite out of any inheritance.

Using tax-free thresholds and deductions effectively is one way to save on taxes. Depending upon your jurisdiction, there may be a state estate tax exemption in addition to the federal estate tax exemption. By strategically distributing assets to beneficiaries or using trusts, individuals can keep the value of their estate below these thresholds, leading to reduced or eliminated estate taxes.

Equally important is planning to take advantage of allowable deductions, further decreasing the tax burden facing heirs.

Trusts are valuable tools for estate and tax planning. They offer a legal framework to hold and manage assets to benefit individuals or organizations and provide asset protection and tax advantages. A revocable living trust transfers assets seamlessly to beneficiaries without passing through probate. Irrevocable trusts shield assets from estate taxes while allowing the person who created the trust—the grantor—to direct their distribution when the trust is established.

Strategic gifting during one’s lifetime is another way wealth is transferred. Using the annual gift tax exclusion, you may gift a certain amount per person yearly without triggering gift taxes. This allows for the gradual transfer of assets, reducing the taxable estate while helping loved ones. Gifting appreciated assets can result in significant capital gains tax savings for both the person making the gift and the recipient.

Estate planning is necessary for business owners to protect a family business from being stripped of capital because of hefty estate taxes. Different ownership structures, including a Family Limited Partnership (FLP) or a Limited Liability Company (LLC) can facilitate the smooth transition of the business to the next generation, while using valuation discounts to reduce estate tax liabilities further.

Estate planning can be a powerful part of a financial strategy. Given the complexity of estate and tax laws, working with an experienced estate planning attorney, accountant, and financial advisor is essential to ensure that all aspects of an estate plan meet legal requirements. Every situation and every family is different, so the estate plan needs to be designed to meet the unique needs of the individual and their family. If you would like to learn more about tax planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Thomasville Times-Enterprise (Sep. 3, 2023) “Maximizing wealth: The power of strategic estate planning in tax savings”

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Avoid a Tax Nightmare with your Trust

Avoid a Tax Nightmare with your Trust

The other message is to be certain that the person serving as a trustee has the knowledge to administer the trust properly or the wisdom to retain an experienced estate planning attorney who will know how to administer a trust. Avoid a tax nightmare with your trust with the correct forms. Not every CPA has detailed knowledge about trust taxation, reports the recent article, Trust’s Incorrect Tax Form Forfeited large Tax Refund Claim: A Lesson For Trustees,” from Forbes.

For income tax purposes, there are several types of trusts. “Grantor trusts” are those whose income is taxed to the person, the settlor, who created the trust. The trust at issue was a grantor trust. However, when the taxpayer who created the trust died, the trust became a non-grantor trust. These are also called “complex” trusts. The income is not reported by the person creating the trust. Complex trusts usually pay their own income taxes. The beneficiaries receiving distributions then report the income for tax purposes included in the income received from the trust. This is referred to as the trust’s Distributable Net Income or “DNI.”

In this case, the trust is the remainder trust after the termination of a Qualified Personal Residence Trust or “QPRT.” This is a trust used to transfer a valuable house from the taxpayer’s estate to descendants or to a trust for them at a discount from the trust’s current value.

The trust had income to report for income tax purposes, which will be done on Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts. The trust felt it was entitled to a refund of some of the taxes it paid, so it filed for a refund. Refund claims are supposed to be filed by amending the trust income tax return, but the trust filed Form 843, a form to claim a refund. The wrong form led the Court to determine that the trust failed to take appropriate action, and the refund was lost. The trust’s filing did put the IRS on notice that the claim was the wrong action.

The IRS said the taxpayer’s filing of Form 843 was insufficient as a formal claim because an amended Form 1041 is the proper form. The Court found that the IRS is authorized to demand information in a particular form and to insist that the form is observed. The instructions on Form 853 advise that the form is for a refund of taxes other than income tax, while the instructions on Form 1041 indicate that it must be used to claim a refund.

What happened in this case? Someone managing the trust didn’t know enough about trust taxation. The family may not have had regular meetings with their estate and trust attorney who created the trust. The deceased taxpayer in this case was a judge, and the trustee was the son of the judge. The taxpayer died in 2015, and the house was sold for $1.8 million the next year. The IRS demanded $930,127 in taxes, penalties, and interest from the Trust. The Trust paid that amount assessed on September 24, 2021. The court opinion was handed down on August 7, 2023. The amount of costs in accounting and legal fees must have been enormous.

This is an excellent example of why families need to have regular, ongoing meetings with their estate planning attorneys and tax advisors to be sure everyone is on the same page. Annual reviews and an estate planning attorney focusing on trust taxation could avoid a tax nightmare with your trust. It would have saved this family money, time, and the stress of an unresolved IRS issue. If you would like to learn more about taxation in estate planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Forbes (Aug. 19, 2023) Trust’s Incorrect Tax Form Forfeited large Tax Refund Claim: A Lesson For Trustees”

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Cancelling Irrevocable Trust can cause Tax nightmare

Cancelling Irrevocable Trust can cause Tax nightmare

Cancelling an irrevocable trust can cause a tax nightmare. For those in the high-income bracket, the potential tax consequences of canceling an irrevocable trust could be a major deterrent. And for those from middle-income backgrounds, the immediate financial impact, like the possible loss of income from the trust, the ramifications may be more, says Yahoo Finance’s recent article entitled, “Will Terminating an Irrevocable Trust Affect My Taxes?”

For example, if the trust holds significantly appreciated assets like real estate or vintage cars, the beneficiaries could face a large tax bill upon dissolution and may benefit from an alternative strategy. So, instead of dissolving the trust, it might be worth looking at ways to alter it better to fit the beneficiaries’ current needs and circumstances. This may include decanting—moving assets from one trust to another with more favorable terms— or moving the trust to a state with more favorable laws.

Income Taxes. An irrevocable trust may hold assets that generate income, including bank accounts, bonds, and dividend-paying stocks whose profits are taxed as ordinary income. Note that distributions from a trust’s principal aren’t subject to income taxes – only the gains. But if an irrevocable non-grantor trust is terminated, the income the assets have generated will presumably be distributed to the beneficiaries. It will be their responsibility to pay the taxes on the money. However, if the trust that’s dissolved is a grantor trust, the income tax liability will stay with the person who created the trust.

Capital Gains Taxes. Assets that appreciate within an irrevocable trust are subject to capital gains taxes. When these profits are realized and distributed at the termination of a trust, the beneficiaries will be required to pay the tax rate that corresponds with their income level.

Estate Taxes. When assets are transferred to an irrevocable trust, they’re removed from the grantor’s taxable estate, lowering the person’s potential estate tax liability when they die. Only large estates worth more than $12.92 million are subject to the federal estate tax in 2023, so it’s not an issue for most people. But in March 2023, the IRS announced that the step-up in basis doesn’t apply to assets held in irrevocable grantor trusts. For those assets to receive the step-up, they must be included in the grantor’s gross estate and be subjected to the federal estate tax. As a result, the termination of an irrevocable grantor trust could trigger the estate tax if assets return to their taxable estate.

Cancelling an irrevocable trust can cause a tax nightmare that may take years to resolve. Discuss your situation with your estate planning attorney for viable alternatives that may be less risky. If you would like to learn more about irrevocable trusts, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Yahoo Finance (Aug. 13, 2021) “Will Terminating an Irrevocable Trust Affect My Taxes?”

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Deeding your House to your Child can Backfire

Deeding your House to your Child can Backfire

People often ask estate planning attorneys if it is possible to avoid probate after their passing simply by adding their adult children’s names to their real property deeds while they are living. As explained in the article “Think twice (and read this) before putting your kids on the deed to your home” from Coeur d’Alene/Post-Falls Press, this can theoretically work. However, deeding your house to your child can backfire, in a big way.

Here are the reasons to keep your property deeds in your name:

If your child has any financial problems, your home is vulnerable. Divorce, debt, litigation, or bankruptcy happen, even to the least likely children. You could lose your home. You could also end up needing to spend thousands on legal fees to convince a court that your home should not be part of the assets subject to your child’s legal or financial difficulties. Either way, you lose.

Adding your child’s name to a real property deed is a gift for tax purposes. Unless the value of your home is extremely low, which is unlikely, you’ll need to report this gift to the IRS.

If the child named on the deed passes before you, you may end up owning the home with their spouse, children, or whomever they named in their will. Did you want your daughter-in-law to be the joint owner of your home? Or your grandchildren? The outcome will depend upon the exact language used on the deed, making it vital to have an estate planning attorney draft the deed document if you use this method.

Medicaid look-back includes the transfer of any assets, including property. If you need to apply for Medicaid to help pay for long-term care, you’ll be asked if you have made any gifts or transfers of assets to anyone within the five years before submitting your Medicaid application. Adding another person’s name to a real property deed is considered a gift by Medicaid. This could prevent you from being eligible for Medicaid assistance for months or as many as five years.

Co-owners must agree on decisions about the property. Your co-owner has to agree before you can sell your home, rent it, or take out a loan against the home’s value. Can you be sure that your child or other co-owner will agree to your wishes?

Capital gains taxes as co-owners are different from inherited property. If a child inherits a property after death and then sells it, they will only be responsible for paying capital gains taxes assessed on any increase in value from the date of your death to when the property is sold. However, if their name is on the property deed while you are living, they will be deemed to have acquired their one-half ownership for half the price you originally paid. They will be responsible for the capital gains taxes applied to their half. They’ll have a hefty tax bill, which they would not have had if they inherited the home.

Deeding your house to your child can backfire. There are ways to plan for your estate to minimize probate without adding a child to your property deed. All of this can be done in a way that doesn’t put your property at risk if you or your child runs into financial trouble and protects your eligibility for Medicaid. An experienced estate planning attorney can help create an estate plan to protect you, your home and your heirs. If you would like to learn more about managing property in your estate planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls Press (June 11, 2023) “Think twice (and read this) before putting your kids on the deed to your home”

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Step-Up in Basis can help Avoid or Reduce Taxes

Step-Up in Basis can help Avoid or Reduce Taxes

Step-up in basis, also known as stepped-up basis, is a wrinkle in the federal tax code that can help heirs avoid or reduce taxes on inherited assets. This aspect of the tax code changes the value—known as the “cost basis”—of an inherited asset, including stocks or property. As a result, the heir may receive a reduction in the capital gains tax they must pay on the inherited assets. For others, according to the recent article, “What Is Step-Up In Basis?” from Forbes, it allows families to avoid paying what would be a normal share in capital gains taxes by passing assets across generations. Estate planning attorneys often incorporate this into estate plans for their clients to minimize taxes and protect assets.

Here’s how it works.

If someone sells an inherited asset, a step-up in basis may protect them from higher capital gains taxes. A capital gains tax occurs when an asset is sold for more than it originally cost. A step-up in basis considers the asset’s fair market value when it was inherited versus when it was first acquired. This means there has been a “step-up” from the original value to the current market value.

Assets held for generations and passed from original owners to heirs are never subject to capital gains taxes, if the assets are never sold. However, if the heir decides to sell the asset, any tax is assessed on the new value, meaning only the appreciation after the asset had been inherited would face capital gains tax.

For example, Michael buys 200 shares of ABC Company stock at $50 a share. Jasmine inherits the stock after Michael’s death. The stock’s price is valued at $70 a share by then. When Jasmine decides to sell the shares five years after inheriting them, the stock is valued at $90 a share.

Without the step-up in basis, Jasmine would have to pay capital gains taxes on the $40 per share difference between the price originally paid for the stock ($50) and the sale price of $90 per share.

Other assets falling under the step-up provision include artwork, collectibles, bank accounts, businesses, stocks, bonds, investment accounts, real estate and personal property. Assets not affected by the step-up rule are retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, IRAs, pensions and most assets in irrevocable trusts.

If someone gives a gift during their lifetime, the recipient retains the basis of the person who made the gift—known as “carryover basis.” Under this basis, capital gains on a gifted asset are calculated using the asset’s purchase price.

Say Michael gave Jasmine five shares of ABC Company stock when it was priced at $75 a share. The carryover basis is $375 for all five stocks. Then Jasmine decides to sell the five shares of stock for $150 each, for $750. According to the carryover basis, Jasmine would have a taxable gain of $375 ($750 in sale proceeds subtracted by the $375 carryover basis = $375).

The gift giver is usually responsible for any gift tax owed. The tax liability starts when the gift amount exceeds the annual exclusion allowed by the IRS. For example, if Michael made the gift in 2018, he could avoid gift taxes on a gift he gave to Jasmine that year with a value of up to $15,000. This gift tax exemption for 2023 is $17,000. Talk with your estate planning attorney to see if a step-up in basis can help avoid or reduce taxes. If you would like to learn more about tax planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Forbes (March 28, 2023) “What Is Step-Up In Basis?”

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Information in our blogs is very general in nature and should not be acted upon without first consulting with an attorney. Please feel free to contact Texas Trust Law to schedule a complimentary consultation.
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