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2015 estate tax, gift tax figures announced

11-7-2014 - The IRS has announced that the new lifetime unified estate and gift tax exemption will increase in 2015. The inflation-adjusted amount for next year is $5.43 million per individual, up from $5.34 million. This is the amount that an individual may give away, free of gift and estate tax. A married couple may double that amount, and a surviving spouse may use any portion of the deceased spouse's unused estate tax exemption (provided that the survivor elects the "portability" option on the final tax filing).

The top tax rate for anything above the exemption is 40%. It is estimated that only .12% of estates will owe any estate tax.

The annual gift tax exclusion will remain unchanged in 2015, at $14,000. This is the amount that any individual may transfer to another person other than a spouse, free of gift tax and without impacting his/her lifetime exemption. A married couple may double the amount. Thus, a married couple could give each of their three children $28,000 per year without any gift or estate tax ramifications.Certain gifts may exceed $14,000 per year and still incur no gift tax. For example, a check written for a child's college tuition when the check goes directly to the educational institution.

Learn more about estate and gift taxes here.



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