Every February, the President formulates a budget request for the Federal government, which Congress then considers in coming up with its own budget resolution. And while many provisions of the President’s budget pertain to actual recommendations on appropriations for various government agencies, the proposals often include a wide range of potential tax law changes, recorded in the Treasury Greenbook.
Given that this is an election year and already within less than 12 months of the end of President Obama’s term, there is little likelihood that any of the President’s substantive tax changes will actually come to pass, from a version of the so-called “Buffet Rule” (a “Fair Share Tax” for a minimum 30% tax on ultra-high income individuals), an increase in the maximum capital gains rate to 24.2% (which would total 28% including the 3.8% Medicare surtax on net investment income), or a rewind of the estate tax exemption back to the $3.5M threshold from 2009.
However, the President’s budget proposals do provide an indication of what’s “on the radar screen” inside Washington, including a wide range of potential “crackdowns” and “loophole closers” that could appear in legislation (as was the case with the crackdown on Social Security file-and-suspend and restricted-application claiming strategies last year).
And in this context, it’s notable that the President’s budget proposal does include a wide range of potential crackdowns on individuals, from a new cap on the maximum gain to be deferred in a 1031 like-kind exchange of real estate, to the addition of lifetime Required Minimum Distributions for Roth IRAs after age 70 ½, the elimination of stretch IRAs and step-up in basis at death, shutting down the “backdoor Roth contribution” strategy, and more!