According to Forbes Magazine the United States has over four hundred billionaires. Currently, three Liberal members of the Senate are working on a plan that calls for a 10% estate “billionaire surtax” that would go into effect retroactively. This would raise the tax rate to 65% on all estates that have accumulated more than $1 billion in assets. These lawmakers believe that billionaires should be required to pay more in estate taxes due to the increasing federal budget deficit and national debt.
This harsh tax proposal may have been spurred by the death of Texas billionaire Dan L. Duncan who passed away in March with a net worth of $9.8 billion. Since Duncan died this year, his entire estate passes to his heirs tax-free. If these Senators’ proposal is enacted, it will hit Duncan’s estate retroactively, immediately prompting a court challenge to its constitutionality.
Republican Senators and some less liberal Democrats are opposed to any retroactive plan. Seeing that the only way to come up with a legitimate plan is through bipartisan cooperation, two other Senators have been working on a compromise. This would impose estate taxes on estates above $5 million at a maximum tax rate of 35%. If Liberals have their way they would also seek to eliminate or restrict the use of GRATs because those trusts are popular tax breaks for the wealthy. If you have any questions or concerns about how these new laws may effect you contact a
Florida Estate Planning Lawyer
Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer