High-Net-Worth "Buffett Rule" Back On Tax Screens

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 10:14

Tags: tax planning

As the election season approaches, it looks like Warren Buffett's pleas for a higher tax rate are finally being taken seriously, and your clients are undoubtedly feeling the heat.

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The "Buffett Rule" looked stalled for months -- the White House page describing it dates from last September -- but is now back in play.


I have to admit, the elite tax lawyers have been telling me to expect a big tax increase on high-net-worth families for years now, but it hasn't happened yet. 


Instead, sunsetting deductions and exemptions have been reinstated. Brackets and rates might not have gone down, but they definitely haven't gone up much either.


We probably won't see aggressive tax increases before November for the simple reason that upper-middle-class and HNW voters contribute to reelection campaigns for Democrats and Republicans alike.


Beyond that point, anything goes. But "anything" has "gone" for generations as far as the tax code goes, year in and year out.


By this point, your clients probably recognize that, but might need a little reminder.


Your clients also probably recognize that you provide them the most tax-sensitive advice available, wherever the effective rates and rules end up.


We think that's standard industry practice nowadays, but surprisingly it's still a new concept to a lot of advisors.


If you have your eyes on the tax ball, it's actually worth bragging a little.

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