Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dunnington's 75 Last Minute Year-End Tax Saving Tips For 2015

Dear Friends, Family and Clients,

Each year Congress changes provisions in the laws affecting taxpayers.  Joe Michaels, the leader of our law firm’s tax practice, provides us with an annual update and sends out 75 last-minute tax savings tips.  I thought I would share Joe’s wisdom and holiday message with you (please see below).

I wish you a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous 2016.


Raymond J. Dowd
250 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10177
Telephone: 212-682-8811
Facsimile: 212-661-7769

Please note our new address!

Season’s Greetings!

As the year comes to a close, so does the period for tax planning for the year 2015.  I have composed a memorandum entitled “75 Last Minute 2015 Year-End Tax Savings Tips” that you may find to be helpful in doing some last minute 2015 income, gift and estate tax planning, as well as be of assistance in preparing your 2015 federal, state and local income tax returns and planning for the coming 2016 year.  It may be accessed by clicking  here.  The memorandum is interactive in the sense that if you “click” on a subject in the Index, it will take you directly to that subject.      

The first three introductory pages of the memorandum review some overall income, estate and gift tax provisions and some changes that became effective in 2015, as well as reminders regarding certain issues.  The top federal income tax bracket remains at 39.6% for 2015 and 2016, the maximum rate of tax on qualified  dividends is 20% for 2015 and 2016, the maximum Federal rate on most long-term capital gains is 20% for 2015 and 2016 (28% on the sale of  “small business stock” and “collectibles,” which include art work, coins, and stamps),  interest income is taxable at your ordinary Federal rate of tax (there is no reduced rate of tax) , and the Federal gift tax annual exclusion remains at $14,000 for 2015 and 2016; however, the lifetime federal gift/estate tax/generation-skipping tax  exemption rises from $5,430,000 to $5,450,000 effective January 1, 2016.  The 3.8% Medicare tax on high earners’ investment income and the additional 0.9% Medicare tax added to the 1.45% already paid by a high earning employee on his/her compensation and the earnings of “highly paid” self-employed individuals remain in place.  The New York estate tax exemption increases again on April 1, 2016 as described in the memorandum. .

These introductory pages also advise you that as of the date of this memorandum, there are some 50 tax provisions  (including Section 179 enhanced expense deductions, enhanced bonus depreciation, tax-advantaged  charitable distributions from certain IRA’s, and research and other tax credits) that have not been extended to 2015. Congress may extend these credits to 2015 and beyond, so please remember to consult with your tax advisor in future months to determine whether all or some have been extended.

Section 75 of this memorandum  includes a summary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, of which most provisions are now in effect, as well as a description of some Offshore and Foreign Tax Provisions enacted in prior years but which impact 2015 and future years.

This Memorandum is 56 pages in length.  If you are unable to print this memorandum on your printer, I will be happy to mail you a copy if you send me an email requesting one.  If you have any questions regarding any of the income, gift or estate tax planning ideas or other provisions summarized in “75 Last Minute 2015 Year-End Tax Savings Tips,” please let me know.

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.

Warmest Regards,

Joseph Michaels IV


Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller LLP was selected as a 2014 Top Ranked Law Firm for Intellectual Property by Corporate Counsel/ALM/The American Lawyer.  Dunnington is a full-service law firm providing corporate, litigation, intellectual property, real estate, taxation, immigration and estate planning services for an international clientele.  Find out more at
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw