TAX FREE by Mark Skousen


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Frequently bizarre, already dated counsel for the monied and mobile. By following Skousen (Playing the Price Control Game, High Finance on a Low Budget), you could wind up using life-insurance benefits to establish residence in a tax sanctuary like Monaco, pursuing a cash award (the Nobel, the Pulitzer) not subject to federal taxation, and keeping your Stateside assets in tax-favored municipals, annuities, etc. Ignored in this array of tips, and throughout, are the loophole-closing provisions of the 1982 tax law which (among other things) introduces withholding to dividend/interest distributions, treats annuity withdrawals less liberally, puts a floor under the liabilities of high-bracket taxpayers, and makes the penalties on shelters unacceptable to the IRS appreciably more severe. The Treasury Department, meanwhile, is trying to negotiate disclosure agreements with traditional tax havens (the Bahamas, Liechtenstein, etc.) similar to the recent breakthrough Swiss accord. In any case, the risks of many of Skousen's gray-area schemes would seem to outweigh any possible rewards. In the section on setting up tax-free, non-profit organizations, for example, he assiduously catalogues the benefits--low postage rates, exemption from payroll taxes, etc.--but soft-pedals IRS strictures on so-called self-dealing, as well as on unrelated business income. In short: inadvisable.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 1982
Publisher: Simon & Schuster