Category Archives: Taxes: Gift Tax, Estate Tax & GST Tax

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IRS Gives a Second Chance to Claim a Potentially Valuable Estate Tax Benefit for Surviving Spouses 

Rarely do estates get a “second look” at tax decisions.  However, this summer the IRS provided some executors, trustees, and surviving spouses an opportunity to revisit an important estate tax planning decision made years ago. Background:   As you probably know, the IRS assesses an estate tax on large estates.  The estate tax rate is 40%. … Continue Reading

Federal Estate Tax Exclusion Bumps Up a Bit for 2016

It’s that time when the IRS announces what you can pass on to others next year without paying federal gift or estate tax.  Revenue Procedure 2015-53 contains 27 pages of inflation-adjusted items for 2016.  Wedged between the inflation adjustments for the foreign earned income exclusion and the “tax on arrow shafts,” are the 2016 numbers for the unified … Continue Reading

Will Billionaire Dan Duncan’s Estate Pass Free of Federal Estate Tax?

Professor Gerry Beyer (Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog) links today to Scott Martin’s post, Billionaire’s Heirs First to Win 2010 Estate Tax Jackpot on The Trust Advisor Blog. Dan Duncan is the first billionaire to die during the repeal of the federal estate tax.  Prof. Beyer notes: If Congress reinstated the death tax for … Continue Reading

Short-Term Fix to Estate Tax Seems More Likely

David Shulman writes today in his South Florida Estate Planning Law blog about an article from The Hill that adds to the growing speculation that Congress will enact a one-year extension of current estate tax rates and postpone a permanent fix until next year:  A split among Democrats and a busy fall agenda is likely to have lawmakers hold off … Continue Reading

Budget Calls for Congress to Do Away with 2010 Estate Tax Repeal

This week, the House and the Senate approved the concurrent budget resolution for fiscal year 2010.  The budget calls for a permanent extension of the 2009 federal estate tax levels — in other words, a $3.5 million federal estate tax exemption per individual and a 45% top federal estate tax rate.   The budget also calls on … Continue Reading

Sen. Baucus Moves to Make 2009 Estate Tax Levels Permanent

Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) has introduced a bill to make the 2009 federal estate tax levels permanent, to unify the estate tax and gift tax, and to allow transfer of a deceased spouse’s unused unified credit to the surviving spouse.  The bill — the “Taxpayer Certainty and Relief Act of 2009”(pdf) — deals with … Continue Reading