New Ways & Means chairman gives Speaker Ryan a tax-reform partner

By Mark Schoeff Jr. The promotion of Rep. Kevin Brady to chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee gives new House Speaker Paul Ryan a key partner on tax-reform efforts, according to experts.Selected by his Republican colleagues earlier this month to head the panel, Mr. Brady, R-Texas, succeeds Mr. Ryan, R-Wisc., in the role. The committee has jurisdiction over tax, trade and entitlement policy.The gavel is being handed to someone who, like Mr. Ryan, has made tax-reform a legislative signature.“He has been very active in tax reform and as chairman, he'll advance…continue reading →

IRS Announces 2016 Estate And Gift Tax Limits: The $10.9 Million Tax Break

Ashlea Ebeling, Forbes Staff It’s official—for 2016, the estate and gift tax exemption is $5.45 million per individual, up from $5.43 million in 2015. That means an individual can leave $5.45 million to heirs and pay no federal estate or gift tax. A married couple will be able to shield $10.9 million from federal estate and gift taxes. The annual gift exclusion remains the same at $14,000. The federal estate and gift tax exemptions rise with inflation, and the IRS announced the new numbers here. We cover the 2016 retirement plan contribution limits…continue reading →

House passes two tax-reform bills

By Mark Schoeff Jr. The House of Representatives approved two bills Thursday that would repeal the estate tax and make permanent deductions for state and local sales taxes. But the bills face a challenge in the Senate and opposition from the White House.Lawmakers passed the estate tax bill 240-179 and the sales tax legislation 272-152, with votes that fell short of the number needed to override a veto. Earlier in the week, the White House came out against both bills. Read more herecontinue reading →