Tax Advice

Be careful who you take it from

I often have clients that will ask me tax questions. Some of them relate to probate taxes, some of them are more general tax questions. My answer for the probate tax question is easy: if the person passed away in Missouri and had his property in Missouri, there is no state inheritance or estate tax on the value of the estate. There is, however, a federal limit which doesn’t apply to individuals until they have a net worth of over 5.4 million dollars. An estate can still be taxed, though, on the income that it makes.

Thoroughly confused yet? According to the Washington Examiner on April 15, 2015, the federal tax code is over 74,000 pages long. It’s no wonder that most people, including attorneys like myself, are not tax experts. This is precisely why I do NOT give tax advice to anyone. I am not a tax expert. Attorneys in the U.S. can obtain a Master of Laws degree (LL.M) in taxation to become experts in tax law. This is an advanced degree that people complete in addition to law school. The attorneys that I know that have an LL.M in tax law ONLY practice tax law and are truly specialists. I will never hesitate to refer a client to a tax specialist for tax questions.

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