February 19, 2019

February 18, 2019

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Federal Individual Gift, Estate, and GST Exemptions Increase to $11.4 Million in 2019

IRS announces the 2019 inflation-adjusted figures for gift and estate tax exemption amounts.

The federal gift, estate, and GST exemption amount ( the exemption amount) is the total amount that an individual may transfer during life, or at death, without incurring gift, estate, or generation-skipping transfer tax. The exemption amount is adjusted annually for inflation, meaning, for individuals who had exhausted their available exemption amount in 2018, that the inflation adjustment of the 2018 exemption amount of $11,180,000 will become available on Jan. 1, 2019.

In 2019, the individual exemption amount will increase from $11,180,000 to $11,400,000 (an aggregate of $22,800,000 for a married couple) a $220,000 increase.

The federal gift tax annual exclusion amount in 2019 will remain unchanged from its current amount of $15,000 per donee. Gifts to any recipient may be doubled if gifts are split with a spouse (which requires the filing of a federal gift tax return). Unlike the exemption amount, the gift tax annual exclusion amount is a “use it or lose it” tax benefit. You may make annual exclusion gifts to as many recipients in a year as you wish, but you may not carry the gift tax annual exclusion amount forward to future years.

The annual exclusion for gifts to a non-U.S. citizen spouse will increase to $155,000 in 2019.

For further detail, please see IRS Revenue Procedure 2018-57.

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About this Author

Attorney

Michelle L. Soto focuses her practice on domestic and international trusts and estate planning matters, representing high-net-worth individuals and families. She also has experience with international tax compliance, including compliance through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Voluntary Disclosure Program. Michelle engages in probate administration, trust administration, and estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax planning.

Concentrations

  • Estate planning
  • Charitable planning
  • Estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax planning and...
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