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Liz Weston. Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, i’ll tell ya

Death’s taxes may be the only means of life, but death taxes are only a distant possibility for most people. The vast majority of Americans will never have or will not give enough to tax real estate or gifts.

Many more people can be affected if the tax benefit for the heirs is abolished. While campaigning for the presidency, Joe Biden proposed eliminating what is called a “step-by-step” approach to minimizing or avoiding capital gains taxes on inherited assets. But no legislation has been proposed yet, և such a change could have a difficult time being approved by the divided Congress.

“Now we’re telling people to start thinking about these things, but we’re not in a hurry to take action,” said Colin Carcone, certified financial planner and director of TIAA Wealth Planning Strategy.


Although most estates are not indebted to real estate taxes, anyone who inherits a house, stock, or other property has likely benefited from a gradual tax exemption that adds new value to such assets at the time of the owner’s death.

Tell me, your sensible aunt paid $ 7,000 per share of Berkshire Hathaway in 1990. That is its tax base. If he had sold the stock for $ 362,000 at the close of trading on February 10, he would have owed $ 355,000 in profit. If he had generously given you the stock և you sold it on February 10, you would owe him the same amount of tax as you would քանի get his tax base.

Now let’s say that instead of giving you the share, he left you voluntarily, he died on February 10th. The stock would receive a new tax base of $ 362,000. All profits made during his lifetime will never be taxed. If you sold the stock later, you would only be taxing the profits from his death.

Some types of inheritance, such as annuities or pension accounts, are not received step by step. It is an exaggeration to say that our real estate tax system is used by many more people, inheriting houses and other assets with increased tax bases, than they have to pay property taxes.


To collect federal real estate taxes this year, the value of real estate must be more than $ 11.7 million. Less than 0.1 percent of deaths in the United States last year were expected to leave estates so large that they owed any tax, according to the Urban-Brookings Center for Tax Policy.

People who have to pay gift taxes are also very rare. There is an annual exemption or an amount that you can give to as many people as you want each year without filing a gift tax return. The exclusion limit for 2021 is $ 15,000. You can give up to $ 15,000 each to an unlimited number of people without giving away gifts. Even if you had to file a gift tax return, you did not actually owe the gift tax as long as the amount you paid during your lifetime, more than the annual deduction amount, was more than $ 11.7 million.

These historically high limits are expected to be completed in 2025, which means that in 2026 the real estate tax exemption limits will return to $ 5 million per person, adjusted for inflation. Biden wants the release for this person to go down to $ 3.5 million.

In some states, people are already facing lower limits. ” The 12 states that set their property taxes: Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia have lower exemption limits. Massachusetts and Oregon have the lowest exclusion amounts – $ 1 million.

Six states – Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey – Pennsylvania also levy taxes on inherited people. Different tax rates apply – exemption restrictions depending on the relationship between the heir and the deceased. Direct family members usually pay the least if they have anything, while distant relatives and non-relatives pay the most.


The idea of ​​eliminating the initiative has been suggested in the past, but it has partially met with a whirlwind as the practice is used by a wide range of voters.

Since there is no concrete proposal for step-by-step change, there is not much that can be done to prepare for change other than all it has to do is keep a careful record. This means “tracking down” what they paid for any assets as part of their usual real estate planning.

If you buy shares of stock on a taxable account, for example, hang on the records showing those purchases. The cost of any improvements you make to your home or other real estate can also increase its tax base and possibly reduce taxes.

“One thing we think people need to do today is really start thinking about keeping notes,” says Carcon.


This column was provided to the Associated Press by the personal financial website NerdWallet. Liz Weston is a columnist for NerdWallet, a certified financial planner and author of “Your Credit Unit”. Email: lweston@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lizweston:


NerdWallet. Real Estate Planning https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-estate-planning


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