Democrats say one thing, but do another. Here is how they’ve increased taxes on children via the “Kiddie Tax:”
Income-shifting is one of several tax planning tools families have used to lower their tax bill. Historically, parents could save a bundle by transferring highly appreciated investments to their children who are in lower tax brackets. However, this year, Congress has made income-shifting a dream of the past, trapping more kids in the dreaded “kiddie tax.” Beginning January 1, 2008, children under 24 will owe taxes on unearned income at their parents’ higher tax rates.
The “kiddie tax,” or so it has been affectionately named, is a tax on children’s unearned investment income or capital gains. Instead of taxing income and capital gains based on the child’s tax bracket, the kiddie tax requires unearned income to be taxed at the parents’ income and capital gains rates.
The expanded kiddie tax law now makes UGMA and UTMA a poor choice for college savings. Instead, 529 college savings accounts provide tax-free growth on contributions, allowing families to reduce their exposure to income and capital gains taxes. Qualified expenses such as college tuition, books, room and board can be withdrawn tax-free. And unlike UGMA and UTMA accounts, the college savings accounts are owned by the parent.
This also means that the Democrats have changed the rules in the middle of the game. Families that have planned are being penalized. What’s next? Are the Democrats going to come after your Roth IRA or introduce an annual tax on assets?