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AICPA Offers Comments on Green Book Trust and Estate Tax Proposals

The American Institute of CPAs offered up suggestions to Congress, focused on the trust and estate proposals found within the fiscal year 2023 revenue proposal, as the legislative branch considers the White House Budget request.

In a July 28, 2022, letter sent to Democrat and Republican leadership on both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, AICPA outlined a number of proposals across four areas, including strengthening taxation of high-income taxpayers; modifying estate and gift taxation; and improving tax administration and compliance.

The White House budget revenue proposals were published in March 2022 in the so-called Green Book.”

With regards to strengthening taxation of high-income taxpayers, AICPA noted that it is “currently concerned that some of the provisions in the 2023 Treasury Green Book … regarding valuation rules for certain transfers of assets are inconsistent with well-established valuation principles and could result in valuations that do not reflect the true economic value of transferred assets. These inconsistencies could, in turn, unjustly negatively affect taxpayers.”

Specifically, it raised concerns with treating transfers of appreciated property by gift or on death “as realization events,” which could alter how the property is valuated and could put taxpayers at a disadvantage for not having complete access to different valuations.

In the tax administration section, AICPA expressed concern that proposed reporting requirements, the organization expressed concern that reporting requirements for tax year would apply to each trust whose estimated total value on the last day of the tax year exceeds $300,000 or whose gross income for the tax year exceeds $10,000, along with what may be overly burdensome informational reporting requirements.

“These low thresholds would capture a substantial number of trusts – many of which are likely of lower risk to the IRS due to the lowers dollars at stake,” the letter states.

AICPA also called the taxing of estates the same as trusts for many of the provisions in the Green Book “problematic. The AICPA recommends that estates be treated similar to married filing separately for all estate provisions in the Green Book, as well as existing law (such as income tax and net investment income tax). This recommendation would restore estates to their federal tax position from 1954-1986.”

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