2019 Estate, GST and Gift Tax Update
Federal estate and gift tax exemption:
The federal estate tax exemption increased to $11,400,000 for individuals and $22,800,000 for married couples (up from $11,180,000 and $22,360,000, respectively, in 2018). This means that individuals can make gifts during life or transfers at death of up to this new higher limit and owe no federal estate tax. These exemption amounts are scheduled to increase with inflation each year until 2025. On January 1, 2026, the exemption amounts are scheduled to revert to the 2017 levels ($5,490,000 for individuals and $10,980,000 for married couples), adjusted for inflation. The top federal gift and estate tax rate remains unchanged at 40%.
Generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption:
The exemption from GST tax also increased to $11,400,000 per person in 2019 (up from $11,180,000 in 2018).
Annual exclusion for gifts to non-spouses:
The annual exclusion for gifts made in 2019 to non-spouses remains at $15,000 per donee.
Annual exclusion for gifts to non-U.S. citizen spouses:
The annual exclusion for gifts made in 2019 to non-U.S. citizen spouses increased to $155,000 (up from $152,000 in 2018).
Massachusetts estate tax exemption:
The Massachusetts estate tax exemption remains unchanged at $1,000,000 and the top Massachusetts estate tax rate remains unchanged at 16%. Massachusetts does not impose a gift tax.
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