Estate Planning Update

In December 2010, the tax law changes enacted that month increased the unified gift and estate tax exemption to $5 million. An individual can now transfer up to $5 million of assets without incurring gift tax. For a married couple, the couple can transfer up to $10 million. Making gifts allows an individual to remove […]

Charities and Non-profit Organizations

Charities and non-profit organizations (“NPOs”) in Canada and the United States that derive income from across the border should consider the Canada-U.S. Tax Convention ( “Treaty”) and whether it may be possible to get an exemption from taxes that would otherwise apply to such income. Charities and NPOs resident and operating in Canada are usually […]

Retirement Plan Loans

Internal Revenue Code Section 72(p) discusses the treatment of loans, their taxability, the common reasons for loan failures and how to fix them under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (“EPCRS”). To prevent a retirement plan loan from being a taxable distribution to the plan participant, plan sponsors, such as the plan participant’s employer, must […]

Taking Funds Out of Retirement Plans Early

Are you thinking of taking an early distribution from your 401(k) or other retirement plan?  If yes, this is the time to read up on early distribution rules.  In Tax Tip 2011-42, available at, the IRS reminds everyone of the tax impact of taking a withdrawal from a retirement plan before reaching age 59 […]

Giving to Victims of Natural Disasters

2011 seems to be the year for natural disasters.  There was the earthquake in New Zealand, then the earthquake in Japan.  Recently, CBS News reported hurricane Irene drenched the mid-Atlantic states, including North Carolina and Virginia.  Irene was to blame for the death of an 11-year-old boy when a tree crashed through his roof.  Another […]