Some Argue the Estate Tax Should Be Raised, Not Cut
The estate tax has been the subject of much debate for years, but that debate has especially heated up since President Donald J. Trump took office in January. The estate tax has been the subject of much debate for years, but that debate has especially heated up since President Donald J. Trump took office in January.
One of the many issues on which Mr. Trump campaigned was a pledge to repeal the estate tax. The president and those who support him on this issue have taken to labeling it the “death tax,” with arguing that the government is essentially charging wealthy people for dying.
Conversely, there are many who support the continuation of the estate tax, along with those who say it should be expanded.
The effects of increasing the estate tax
Currently, the exemption limit for taxable estates is $5.40 million for an individual and $10.8 million for a couple. To that end, the tax only effects the top fraction of a percent of individuals in terms of wealth throughout the nation, amounting to just a couple thousand estates each year.
Proponents of the estate tax view it as a method to bring in additional funds for government programs while reducing income inequality in the United States, which has continued to widen at a rapid pace in recent years. Some figures indicate a repeal of the estate tax would result in tax cuts of about $269 billion over 10 years for some of the wealthiest people in the country.
Ultimately, the debate over the estate tax comes down to completely different ways of thinking. Opponents believe it’s unfair to force wealthier families and estates to give up money they earned over their lives, while proponents are more focused on the overarching issues of wealth inequality and government programs.
To learn more about how a potential estate tax repeal could affect your planning, consult a knowledgeable Tampa estate planning attorney with BaumannKangas Estate Law.