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Making Trust Distributions to Reduce Overall Income Taxes

Charles A. Redd discusses strategies geared towards minimizing the aggregate income taxes of a trust and its beneficiaries.

In the aftermath of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA)1 and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA),2 the focus for many estate planners and their clients is more on income tax planning than transfer tax planning. ATRA and TCJA have yielded, among other things, historically high basic exclusion amounts (currently $11.4 million), indexed for inflation, portability, a relatively low estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax rate (40 percent), a relatively


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