by Joe Wilhelm Jr.
As April 18, tax day this year, draws near, tax preparation tips were the topic at the joint luncheon Wednesday of the Trust and Probate and Tax Law Sections of The Jacksonville Bar Association.
Florida Coastal School of Law Adjunct Professor John “Jack” Fishburne was the guest speaker and presented information on the changes to the Estate and Gift Tax Laws from the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.
Fishburne is an attorney with the Purcell, Flanagan, Hay & Greene firm and concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning, including income, estate, gift and generation skipping transfer tax, probate, guardianship, trust administration,and corporate law.
“I was pleased with the turnout of local attorneys. This was in large part due to the topic being timely,” said Emily Dillow, chair of The JBA Tax Law Section.
Fishburne explained the changes with the gift tax, which is a tax on the transfer of property by one individual to another while receiving nothing, or less than full value, in return. The tax applies whether the donor intends the transfer to be a gift or not. 2009, the gift tax exemption was $1,000,000.
The exemption is the lifetime amount a person can gift away without incurring any federal gift tax. The maximum rate during that time span decreased from 55 percent to 45 percent.
In 2010 the exemption stayed the same, but the maximum rate dropped to 35 percent.
Under the 2010 Act, the exemption increases to $5,000,000 and the maximum rate stays at 35 percent. These amounts will be in use for the 2011 and 2012 tax years, but the exemption is scheduled to return to $1,000,000 and the maximum rate will spring back up to 55 percent.
About 40 people attended the presentation at The River Club.