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The Estate Tax: Keep It or Expand It

by Patriotic Millionaires | Updated on 5.17.18

From the experts at the Institute for Policy Studies:

What is the estate tax? The estate tax is a tax on the transfer of the estate of a deceased person or couple. In simpler terms, once someone dies, if they have enough money or assets, some of what they leave behind will be taxed. The tax only kicks in, however, on anything above $11.2 million for an individual or $22.4 million for a married couple, indexed for inflation (double the previous threshold, before the GOP tax bill). Estates worth less than those amounts pay absolutely nothing. Estates worth more than that pay a 40% tax, but only on amounts above the cutoff, so the first $11 or $22 million are tax free. Because of the high exemption level, the few estates that paid any tax actually paid an average of just 16.6% under the old limits, a number which will be likely be much lower now that the limit is doubled.

Click above to take action and let your Congressional officials know they need to expand the estate tax!

The estate tax, as you might imagine given the minimum amount you need to start paying, affects very few people. The estate tax basically only affects the wealthiest Americans. In fact, with an $11 million threshold for couples, only 2 out of 1000 estates paid any estate tax at all. That’s less than 5,000 in a typical year. Despite claims made by opponents of the estate tax, almost none of these are small businesses or small farms - in 2017 only about 80 small businesses or farms owned any federal estate tax at all, and those paid less than 6% of their value in estate taxes. Now, with the higher exemption limit, even fewer estates will be affected. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that just 1,800 estates will qualify for the tax under current law.

Why is a higher estate tax exemption threshold a bad thing? Raising the threshold from $11 to $22 million doesn’t help middle-class Americans or create jobs or boost the economy. It does nothing more than give more money to the children of the rich, who will now be able to inherit millions more (that they haven’t worked a minute for) without paying a cent of tax. A higher exemption threshold is just a handout to wealthy heirs that leaves middle-class American families with even more of the bill for running this country.

What should we do with the estate tax? We should fight to keep the estate tax and lower the exemption threshold. It used to be just $675,000 as recently as two decades ago, there’s no reason it can’t be lowered to a more reasonable level than $22 million. Simply as a matter of fairness, our country taxes people who work for their income - why should the children of the rich who have never worked a day in their life get to inherit millions tax-free?

Click above to take action and let your Congressional officials know they need to expand the estate tax!

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Patriotic Millionaires

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  • Tom

    If "The Donno" or as he is better known "The Orange Julius" wants to give all he claims to have to his brats, I think it is up to us to STOP HIM!

    Like (1)
  • NickStevens

    Please do not remove the estate tax. We must have reasonable tax cuts without ballooning our national deficit. The estate tax is a fair and reasonable tax on the wealthiest Americans.