Proposed estate tax reform would do away with discounts

BVWireIssue #111-2
December 14, 2011

The latest tax reform proposal, which Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) introduced last month as the “Sensible Estate Tax Act of 2011,” would raise the maximum estate and gift tax rate to 55% and lower the applicable exclusion amount to $1 million. It would also eliminate valuation discounts on investment assets, such that:

the value of any nonbusiness assets held by the [passive] entity shall be determined as if the transferor had transferred such assets directly to the transferee (and no valuation discount shall be allowed with respect to such nonbusiness assets).

Few authorities predict that H.R. 3467 will pass as currently drafted. However, most pundits agree that tax reform in 2012 is as certain as—well—taxes, and that any proposal will attempt to capture the enormous wealth transfer of aging baby boomers. Stay tuned ...

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