Month: May 2017

Will Congress Repeal the Estate Tax? If so, will the “Inheritance Tax” for “Covered Expatriates” get Repealed too?

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The current U.S. Treasury Secretary announced in an April 26, 2017 press briefing the intention of the current Administration to repeal the estate tax.

The current estate tax has been in existence for 101 years (with prior versions in the 19th century).  Please see the following articles published some years ago for a history of the estate tax since its enactment with the Revenue Act of 1916; Patrick Fleenor, staff economist at the Tax Foundation, A History and Overview of Estate Taxes in the United States and The Estate Tax:  Ninety Years and Counting, by Darien Jacobson, Brian Raub and Barry Johnson.

See Figure C from the article by Jacobson, et. al. that provides a highlight of significant changes in the U.S. estate tax law:

Article re Estate Tax Highlights - Figure C

If Congress and the President do repeal a tax that has been in existince for over 100 years, it is hard to imagine that such a repeal will be permanent going forward in other administrations and congressional bodies?  In contrast, the U.S. Treasury  released its FACT SHEET: Administration’s FY2017 Budget Tax Proposals a little over a year ago where its then stated goal (under a very different Administration) was to increase the scope and amount of the estate and gift tax –

Restore the Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer (GST) Tax Parameters in Effect in 2009. This proposal would make permanent the estate, GST, and gift tax parameters as they applied during 2009.  The top tax rate would be 45 percent and the exclusion amount would be $3.5 million per person for estate and GST taxes, and $1 million for gift taxes.  The proposal would be effective for the estates of decedents dying, and for transfers made, after December 31, 2016.

The important question for “covered expatriates” (really for their future U.S. beneficiareis) is whether a repeal of the estate tax for U.S. persons will also include the repeal of the “inheritance tax” under Section 2801 that was newly adopted in 2008.  See, prior posts relevant to Section 2801,

–  The “Hidden Tax” of Expatriation – Section 2801 and its “Forever Taint.”

– Finally – Proposed Regulations for “Covered Gifts” and “Covered Bequests” Issued by Treasury Last Week (Be Careful What You Ask For!)