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IRS has released Revenue Procedure 2016-55 outlining 2017 estate tax exclusion and other exemption amounts relevant to estate planning, as follows:

  • The annual gift exclusion remains at $14,000
  • The basic exclusion amount (for determining unified credit against gift and estate taxes) is adjusted to $5,490,000
  • Annual exemption for gifts to a noncitizen spouse is $149,000

Note that under IRC 2631(c), the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption amount is equal to the basic exclusion amount, so that’s goin’ up, too:

(c) GST exemption amount

For purposes of subsection (a), the GST exemption amount for any calendar year shall be equal to the basic exclusion amount under section 2010(c) for such calendar year.

Also note that while there is portability of deceased spousal unused exclusion amount (DSUEA) for estate and gift tax purposes, there is no portability per se for GST exemption. However, portability can be effectively obtained via reverse QTIP election with Clayton election planning, a very useful tool in many situations to achieve post-mortem flexibility in minimizing tax on capital gains as well as estate tax, and achieving other goals.

See Hitler for a glimpse of what Clayton can do for your empire:

One final note: There is an election in a couple weeks. Most polls have Hillary leading Trump by huge margins obscenely inapposite to the huge crowds Trump is attracting in real life. If you believe those polls, then you may want to die next year. Hillary says she wants to lower the estate tax exclusion to $3.5MM but importantly, she also says she wants to reduce gift tax exclusion to $1MM and since these have been unified in recent times, I suspect she really will press to lower the estate tax exclusion all the way to $1MM as well. Plus, consider she also plans to get rid of the inflation adjustment.

So other people may want you to die next year, too. Have you considered our free self-defense training?

 

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