Monday, November 26, 2012

Arkansas Intestate Estate Calculator

Kurt R. Nilson has taken the guesswork out of determining how property will be distributed for those Arkansas residents who do not have a will (also known as passing by intestacy).  His online calculator, which can be found on his website,, automatically determines to whom such property will be distributed and calculates the dollar amount given to each such heir.  This tool streamlines the complicated Arkansas intestacy laws, which are some of the most complex of any state.

You can find his Arkansas Intestacy Calculator here.

From his website:
Dying Intestate

Do you really know what happens to your property if you die without a will? (Click here and choose your state for the quick answer) Do you know what happens to a person's debt when they pass away? Learn more bankruptcy information at  Some common misconceptions about what happens to your property when you die without a will, or "intestate", include having all of your property being given to charity or to the state.

Another common misconception, with more serious consequences, is the belief that a surviving spouse is always granted all or substantially all of the deceased spouse's intestate estate. (Much about the probate process is also misunderstood.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Post Presidential Election, Tax Professionals Predict Expiration of Lifetime Gift & Estate Tax Exemption

Now that the dust has settled following the 2012 presidential election, some tax experts are predicting that President Barack Obama's administration and the new Congress may let the current lifetime gift and estate tax exemption expire.  In his article, Grab the $5M Gift and Estate Tax Perk: It's Gone in 2013, Robert W. Wood discusses this important issue:

It’s post-election, nearly year-end, and taxes are on everyone’s mind. You may not be able to do much about the fiscal cliff or other imponderables. But you can fix your will and trust or just make a gift by year-end.
Act now! Think infomercial. This is a special limited time offer! Procrastination is understandable, especially about taxes and mortality. Yet it’s still surprising most people haven’t taken advantage of the incredibly favorable estate and gift tax law expiring in 2012. See It Pays To Plan For Future Estate Tax Changes

Congress enacted a $5 million exemption for both gift and estate taxes, but only through 2012. See Making Tax Decisions In Limbo. But wait, there’s more! Indexed for inflation, the exemption is now $5,120,000. It drops to only $1 million January 1, 2013. That’s a free pass to give away up to $5,120,000 without tax. If you are married, that’s up to $10,240,000 for a married couple with no tax.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman Gives Prepared Remarks Before the AICPA, Washington, DC

On November 7, 2012, Douglas H. Shulman, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service from March 24, 2008 through this past Sunday, November 11, 2012, in prepared remarks before the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in Washington, DC, closed out his long tenure as IRS Commissioner with the following statement covering subjects including tax evasion, IRS efficiency, taxpayer improvements, corporate taxes, IRS technology, and more:

Side note:  In an interview with C-SPAN in January 2010, Commissioner Shulman stated, "I use a preparer... I've used one for years. I find it convenient. I find the tax code complex, so I use a preparer.”

IR-2012-89, Nov. 7, 2012

WASHINGTON — Today is the day after the elections and of course, political Washington is all abuzz…bloggers are blogging…commentators are commenting… folks on Twitter are tweeting… the pundits are dissecting last night’s results.

However, I am not here to wade into those political waters. Rather, I come before you today to talk about something entirely different.

In a few days time – November 11th to be precise – my term as the 47th Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service officially comes to a close. And looking back, I can say it has been a true honor and one that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I suppose it’s quite natural when one has completed a significant task like running the IRS for almost five years to pause ... to reflect on the journey taken … to mark the milestones met … and to ponder the lessons learned.

Standing before you today…standing on the shoulders of those who came before me…building on their work and achievements…it is gratifying to share with you the meaningful…and I believe, lasting progress that has been made to our nation’s tax system.