What Is New For Estate Tax Legislation?
After a few years of relative quiet, estate tax legislation is again heating up in Congress. The House Ways and Means Committee passed legislation to repeal the estate tax, with the full House expected to vote this week. With a current exemption amount of $5,430,000 per person (indexed for inflation), the estate tax affects very few US decedents. But with a 40% tax rate on assets exceeding that amount, the impact can be dramatic, particularly for closely held business owners.
While passage in the House is almost certain, it is less certain in the Senate, and extremely unlikely to ever become law with a Democratic Administration strongly opposed. But let’s see what happens in 2017.
There can be significant swings in estate tax legislation – in 2014 two bills were introduced to return the exemption amount to $1 million. However, that 2014 legislation went nowhere and the current Ways and Means proposal also will not become law anytime soon.