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Taxes/Estates/ Trusts/Elder Law

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Pamela M. Buskirk

Odin, Feldman & Pittleman PC

Title: Shareholder
Other legal specialties: I am a certified public accountant as well as a tax attorney.
Birthplace: Falls Church
Education: University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce, bachelor’s degree; Wake Forest University School of Law, law degree
Hobbies or pastimes: Running, swimming, biking, training for and competing in triathlons, marathons and shorter distance road races; cooking
First job as a lawyer: I have been with Odin, Feldman & Pittleman my entire legal career.
Fan of:  All University of Virginia sports, Washington Redskins, Washington Nationals, Washington Capitals
Favorite vacation spot: The beach!  I am happy at any beach, but my favorite beaches are in the Caribbean and Hawaii.
Recently read book: “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.  What a great biography about an amazing person!
Career mentors: Jimmy Pittleman, David Brewer and John Dedon (all attorneys at Odin, Feldman & Pittleman) have been great mentors to me over the course of my legal career.

What needs to be changed in the federal tax code?
I think that the tax code is too complex and should be simplified.  One of the many ways to simplify the tax code would be to eliminate the alternative minimum tax (AMT).  Few people understand the AMT and its calculation, thereby making tax preparation for individuals with high incomes very complicated.

Should the federal estate tax be abolished?
Due to high estate tax exemption ($5.43 million), which is increased each year for inflation, the estate tax basically has been abolished because it applies to very few people.  The estates that are subject to the tax generally have the resources to pay it.  If it were to be abolished, then Congress likely would replace the lost revenue with the imposition of another tax, possibly on individuals who are not as able to afford it.

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