Tax-deferred exchanges of commercial or investment real property are a common strategy for real estate owners. Federal courts have taken a pro-taxpayer approach in allowing taxpayers to structure these exchanges. California has not until recently.
Owners of traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) may use a special rule to achieve substantial income tax savings while benefitting charities of their choice. They may transfer up to $100,000 from their IRAs to charitable organizations without incurring income tax on the IRA withdrawal.
The recent national election results have created uncertainty, some may say new hope, regarding the repeal of the federal estate tax. Repeal has had political resonance for many years, even though very few taxpayers are affected. According to published government statistics, 11,917 estate tax returns were filed in year 2015 with only 4,918 of those showing a tax due.