The Latest Estate Tax Proposal

Pending Legislation

Friday’s Wall Street Journal had an article on the latest estate tax proposal, from independent  Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic Senators Tom Harkin of Iowa, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

The proposal would retroactively reinstate a $3.5 million exemption with a tax rate of 45%. Estates valued between $10 million and $50 million would pay a 50% rate, estates valued above $50 million would pay 55%, and estates in excess of $500 million would be hit with an additional 10% surtax.  The proposal includes a 10-year minimum on grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), which would greatly reduce the usefulness of these trusts as estate tax reduction strategies
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