Martin Shenkman of Shenkman Law in Paramus, N.J. says 2012 is not a normal year, but that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t have a tax strategy. One mistake Shenkman anticipates investors making: burying their heads in the sand as the Bush tax cuts sunset in December. Instead, he suggests protecting assets through gifting and trusts, and transferring some dividend-paying equities into an IRA. Shenkman also warns against making simple decisions, such as selling assets now to avoid an increase in capital gains tax. Instead, he recommends, take a multidimensional approach so that if one tax-planning strategy turns out to have little value, it could still prove useful another way. An insurance policy purchased to pay estate taxes is one idea. And oh yeah, it won’t be the end of the world if tax rates go up. Obama’s proposed rates are not outrageous by historic standards.
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