Tax planning and financial planning are closely related to each other because of the significant impact that taxes have upon your finances. Any investment made more attractive by the timing of the profit or the way it is taxed is a tax incentive investment.
Tax incentive investments are based on specific provisions. The tax law provisions enacted by Congress encourage investment capital to flow directly into the basic areas of our economy such as housing, petroleum, manufacturing and agriculture. In one sense, “tax incentive” means investing in vital industries in a way that permits you, rather than the companies you invest with, to keep the tax benefits, while retaining your opportunities for significant profits. As in the above quote by Judge Learned Hand, formerly of the New York Supreme Court, there is nothing illegal or immoral about tax incentive investments.
There are many forms of tax incentive investments. Municipal bonds and unit investment trusts provide tax-free income. Annuities, life insurance policies, IRAs, Keoghs and pensions, as well as oil and gas drilling, equipment leasing, research and development in various forms provide tax reduction through income tax deferral of taxation on the appreciation until the asset is liquidated.
Although an investor can structure an individual transaction, tax shelters are often structured as partnerships. There are two types of partnerships: a limited partnership and a general partnership. In a partnership, the value of the investment will be a blend between tax advantages and investment advantages depending on the objectives of the partnership.
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