Penning Group Blog

The Penning Group blog is written and edited by the advisors and attorneys of The Penning Group, providing practical business, personal, and legal information. To view blog posts by category, choose a topic area from the sidebar menu.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Even in the current economic climate, there are silver linings to be found. The tax code allows you to gift $1,000,000 during your lifetime free of federal gift tax. That’s in addition to the $13,000 you can give per recipient each year. Historically, you may have thought only in terms of cash gifts, and many investors and business owners are cash-poor in this down economy. But the gift tax exclusion is $13,000 of value for any asset priced at fair market value, such as shares of publicly traded stock, or ownership in a closely-held or family business. For example, 1000 shares of a stock that might have been selling for $50 per share two years ago, but now trade at $13 per share,...

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

The case of Kennedy vs. Plan Administrator, the Plaintiff, Mr. Kennedy, executed a beneficiary designation form naming his spouse as his primary beneficiary of his retirement plan in the event of his death. Thereafter, Mr. Kennedy divorced his wife and his ex-wife waived any rights to any proceeds from the retirement account. In spite of Mr. Kennedy's ex-wife's waiver of her rights in the divorce decree, the U.S. Supreme Court recently decided that the beneficiary designation form, not the divorce decree, governs who should receive the balance of Mr. Kennedy's retirement account as beneficiary. As a result, Mr. Kennedy's ex-wife received the balance of his retirement account funds.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

§1031 Exchanges Defer Treatment of Capital Gains, but the IRS will not “Save” a Transaction if the Qualified Intermediary files for Bankruptcy or Otherwise Neglects to Complete the Transaction within Strict IRS Time Frames.

For all that is said and written about taxes, it really boils down to the following;
(1.) when you earn a dollar, you pay income tax (federal, state, local, and so on);
(2.) when you spend that dollar, you pay sales tax;
(3.) if you invest that dollar and you receive a dividend or interest, you pay taxes on the dividends and interest;
(4.) if you invest that dollar and it grows, you pay capital gains taxes when you sell...

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Casey Penning - Winning Autistic Goals Every DayA few weeks ago I posted a blog about my oldest son, Tucker, and his experiences in a high school hockey tournament and about how through perseverance, commitment and hard work he achieved success and assisted his team in winning a tournament semi-final game.

I also quoted various statements by Dr. Alan Zimmerman that appeared in his weekly newsletter entitled "Tuesday Tip" on success. Dr. Zimmerman commented that one must observe four key elements in order to achieve...

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009


"...proper planning in most instances can navigate around any estate tax liability..."

There is a long history of debate regarding the federal estate tax. The implementation of the tax originally was to prevent the build-up of wealth that could lead to a creation of large estates and a permanent class of idle rich that would attempt to impose a monarchy.

While I am generally not in favor of raising taxes or the estate tax in general, there is a valid question as to whether the impact of the existence of the estate tax has any real negative impact on the majority of small business owners and family farms. Previously, President Bush tried...

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