Gifts in 2010 as a Strategy to Reduce Your Estate

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One of the lesser known components of the 2010 estate tax repeal is that the gift tax rate in 2010 is 35%, as opposed to the 45% gift and estate tax rate that was in place in 2009. This presents a planning opportunity for a taxpayer to reduce his taxable estate and save a significant amount of taxes if the taxpayer believes that his estate will be subject to an estate tax in the future.

Absent new legislation, the 2010 estate tax repeal will sunset in 2011, with the estate tax reinstituted at rates as high as 55% and an exclusion amount equal to $1 million (adjusted for inflation). Gifts in excess of $1 million also will be subject to gift tax at rates as high as 55%. Thus, gifting assets in 2010 at a lower rate will ultimately transfer significantly more wealth to a taxpayer’s beneficiaries.

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Cole Schotz on:

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