U.S. Estate Tax Update

Written on January 9, 2013 – 7:22 am | by Laura West

I thought that readers may be interested in an update on some U.S. estate tax developments that I have mentioned in previous blogs.

The first development is the fate of the U.S. estate tax subsequent to the “fiscal cliff” threat that faced U.S. legislators over the new year.  As readers will know, the “fiscal cliff” was averted and a deal was reached.  This deal provided estate planners with some good news as the dramatic changes to the U.S. estate tax that were contemplated were not put in to effect.  The U.S. estate tax has been constantly changing in recent years, with taxation and exemption rates shifting.  However, under the deal reached as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations, the estate tax exemption in place for 2012, $5 million, was retained but the top tax rate went up from 35% to 40%.

The second development, which readers may remember, concerned the U.S. estate tax challenge that was launched by a survivor of a same-sex marriage, who argued that the federal Defence of Marriage Act, which refused to recognize legal same-sex marriages for federal law purposes (including the federal estate tax) was unconstitutional.  Recent news articles have reported that this constitutional challenge, which has been making its way through the courts, will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on March 27th of this year. 


Laura West

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