“Business owners and investors are rapidly maneuvering to shield themselves from the prospect of higher taxes next year, a strategy that is sending ripples across Wall Street and broad areas of the economy.
Take Steve Wynn, the casino magnate, who has been a vocal critic of higher tax rates. He and his fellow shareholders in Wynn Resorts[WYNN 104.33 -0.22 (-0.21%) ], the company announced, will collect a special dividend of $750 million on Tuesday, a payout timed to take advantage of current rates. Experts estimated that taking the payout this year instead of next could save Mr. Wynn, who owns a sizable stake in the company, more than $20 million.
For the wealthy like Mr. Wynn, the overriding goal is to record as much of their future income this year as they can. This includes moves as diverse as sales of businesses, one-time dividends and the sale of stocks that have been big winners.
“In my 30 years in practice, I’ve never seen such a flood of desire and action to transfer a business and cash out,” said Kenneth K. Bezozo, a partner in New York with the law firm Haynes and Boone. “We’re seeing a watershed event.” ”Comments »