(ALMOST) EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHARITABLE TAX DEDUCTIONS

Last year at this time I wrote an article about tax deadlines and the penalties for not filing or not paying on time.  This year I want to talk in detail about one of our most innovative and useful strategies that can help clients to save on their taxes.

This strategy is leveraging charitable deductions.  Most everyone is familiar with the idea of taking a tax deduction for cash donations to charitable organizations.  A common example is money donated to your church, school, or favorite non-profit

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GIFTING YOUR ASSETS

            Most of my clients have heard that you can give away $10,000 per year to any other person without consequences.  That’s not exactly correct.  Some have heard that you should consider giving away your assets to your children or other loved ones 5 years before you might need to go to a nursing home.  Therefore, many of them believe that you should start giving $10,000 per year to each of your children and grandchildren or other loved ones

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2015 ESTATE PLANNING UPDATE

Here is a 2015 update on important numbers used in Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning in Hawaii.

How much money and property can a person have at death without paying estate taxes?

At the end of 2012, Congress passed a law making the exemption from estate taxes $5,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) without a built in expiration date. Taking into account inflation, the actual amount exempt from estate tax for 2015 is $5,430,000. The Hawaii Estate Tax law was previously amended to follow the Federal

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Tax Filings, Payments & Other Considerations (April 2014)

“’Tis impossible to be sure of anything but Death and Taxes.”
– Christopher Bullock (Cobbler of Preston)

Last month I addressed the serious topic of Death and the disposition of your remains.  On an only slightly brighter note, this month’s article is focused on the main thing on everyone’s mind at this time of year:  Taxes.

Most of us have heard a variation of the quote above, “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes,” usually attributed to Mark Twain.  And almost

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new-year-2014-wallpapers

2014 Estate Planning Update (February 2014)

Here is a 2014 update on important numbers used in Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning in Hawaii.

How much money and property can a person have at death without paying estate taxes?

A little over one year ago, Congress passed a law  making the exemption from estate taxes $5,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) without a built in expiration date. Taking into account inflation, the actual amount exempt from estate tax for 2014 is $5,340,000. The Hawaii Estate Tax law was amended to follow the Federal

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Tax Identification Numbers (September 2013)

TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS

By

Ethan R. Okura

Back in June, I wrote an article on how Obamacare affects the income taxes that trusts pay.  It’s a very complicated subject (taxes always seem to be, don’t they?) and my quick summary of how it works may have left you with more questions about how trusts are taxed than you had before you read the article.  Today I’m going to explain how Tax Identification Numbers work, both for Trusts and for other business entities.

Generally, your personal Tax

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How Does Income Tax Work With My Trust? (June 2013)

HOW DOES INCOME TAX WORK WITH MY TRUST?

By

 Ethan R. Okura

Last month after writing my article on Medicaid planning techniques, we received a message from a concerned client who is worried about higher income tax rates, the new 3.8% Medicare (sometimes called Obamacare) Surtax, and in light of these developments, whether a trust is still the right solution for his family’s needs. Perhaps he read a Forbes magazine article with an alarming title “Tax Hikes Hit Trusts Hard, Beneficiaries Pull

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2013 Estate Planning Update (February 2013)

2013 ESTATE PLANNING UPDATE

By

Ethan R. Okura

            Here is a 2013 update on important numbers used in Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning in Hawaii.

How much money and property can a person have at death without paying estate taxes?

As I mentioned in last month’s article, $5,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) is estate tax free permanently starting this year. The IRS Revenue Procedure 2013-15 clarified that taking into account inflation, the actual amount exempt from estate tax

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HAWAII ESTATE AND GENERATION SKIPPING TRANSFER TAXES (July 2012)

HAWAII ESTATE AND GENERATION SKIPPING TRANSFER TAXES

On July 5, 2012, Governor Abercrombie finally signed into law the Estate and Generation-Skipping Tax Reform Act, which is Act 220. Parts of this law were badly needed to clean up the poorly written Hawaii Estate Tax law which became effective in 2010.

The law applies to deaths and taxable transfers occurring after January 25, 2012. It provides for both an estate tax and a generation skipping tax. The intent of the law is to have the Hawaii law

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