The law firm Baker Donelson provides a good summary of the impact of the Trump Administration’s significant tax reform proposals. Here’s what it says about the estate tax: “The Trump plan and the House Republicans' plan each propose an elimination of the federal estate tax. Under the Trump plan, however, estates would instead be subject to a capital gains tax on any unrealized appreciation in excess of $10 million. It should be noted that this is not the first attempt at eliminating the estate tax. Even with the Republican-controlled White House and Legislature, there still exists a strong possibility that the estate tax will continue. Neither plan is clear on whether the existing step-up in tax basis in estate assets would remain or how it might otherwise be affected. Likewise, the future of the federal gift tax is uncertain.”
2704 update: Of course, what happens to the estate tax will impact what happens to the controversial proposed Section 2704 estate tax rules seeking to curb valuation discounts. Some observers believe they will get pulled now that Trump is in office, but it is unclear whether they will vanish forever. In the new 115th U.S. Congress, bills were introduced in the House and the Senate to prevent the Treasury and the IRS from finalizing the proposed regs. The House bill (H.R. 308), introduced by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means, prohibits funds from being used to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the regs. The related Senate bill (S. 47) was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
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