December 18, 1990 |
The prospect of enormously high estate taxes forced the cancellation of plans for Mickey Mouse and the Muppet's Miss Piggy to tie the knot, industry analysts and sources familiar with the negotiations said. The children of Muppet creator Jim Henson, who died in May, would have faced a 55% inheritance tax on the sale of the company to Walt Disney Co., said Jeffrey Logsdon, an entertainment analyst with Seidler Amdec Securities.
January 7, 2001 |
Q: My wife's mother passed away three years ago, leaving an estate of about $1.5 million and naming her son as executor. To date my brother-in-law has done little to settle this estate. In the interest of family harmony, my wife does not want to take legal action to have him removed as executor. I have pointed out that since he hasn't filed an estate tax return, taxes, penalties and interest are accruing and eroding the estate's value. Do you have any suggestions?
April 15, 2001 |
The Bush administration has made a big deal about repealing what it calls the "death tax"--the tax paid by large estates. Only about 2% of Americans are wealthy enough to leave estates subject to this tax. Repeal would cost the Treasury about $30 billion a year, but by 2010 the cost could be nearly $60 billion a year and rising. Fully half the benefits of this tax break would go to the heirs of the wealthiest one of every 1,000 people who die--people worth tens of millions of dollars.
June 3, 2001 |
Question: We heard that Congress is gradually phasing out estate taxes. Has the exemption--the amount that can be passed to heirs free of tax--been increased for 2001? And have the tax rates for this and future years been changed? Answer: Gradual estate tax repeal was included in the $1.35-trillion tax-cut bill Congress approved over Memorial Day weekend. But the changes don't start until next year--and they have a limited life span.
January 7, 2001 |
Jim Genden has a simple wish. He wants to leave all his money to his wife of 27 years when he dies without Uncle Sam taking such a big bite in estate taxes that it affects her lifestyle. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. Husbands and wives usually have the right to leave all their money to a surviving spouse without paying estate taxes. But Genden's wife, Alma Koppedraijer, isn't a U.S. citizen, so she's subject to a different set of rules.
July 2, 2000 |
Q: I am retired and financially independent. I generally give my children and grandchildren generous cash gifts for birthdays, Christmas, etc. It has been suggested that I annually give each of them $10,000, the maximum cash gift allowed without gift tax consequences, in order to reduce future estate taxes. I have so far refrained from doing this because I want to remain independent and pay for long-term care, if necessary. Why should I be concerned about the taxes after I'm gone?
May 6, 2009 |
Few taxes raise less revenue or make less sense than the federal estate tax. It is scheduled to be temporarily eliminated -- for 2010 -- only to reappear in 2011, and it has been a sore spot to family business owners since its inception. Research shows that these concerns are legitimate -- and, if anything, understated. Faced with the sunset provision, the White House would like to lock in the current tax rate permanently -- 45% of total assets over $3.5 million at the time of death.
December 9, 2010
The tax-cut deal struck by President Obama and Republican leaders has many congressional Democrats crying foul, complaining that Obama conceded too much in return for a few hundred billion dollars worth of long-sought economic stimulus. They don't like continuing the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and they howl that the proposed tax rate on multimillion-dollar estates is too low. The first of those provisions is bad policy, but the second is worse: an unnecessary handout to a few thousand wealthy families that addresses neither the country's sluggish economy nor Washington's long-term debt problem.
December 18, 2009
The old saw about the only certainties in life being death and taxes isn't quite right: We'll also always be arguing about the taxation of death. Because of squabbling in the Senate over the estate tax -- one of the nation's most controversial levies -- taxes will rise for thousands of middle-class heirs while falling for a small number of the very wealthy. The troubles began with reforms approved by the Republican-dominated Congress in 2001, which led to a gradual decrease in estate taxes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 3, 1999 |
One of the most remarkable features of the House-passed tax bill is repeal of the estate tax in 2009. The National Federation of Independent Business, a strong supporter of repeal, hailed this as the "crown jewel" of the legislation. It and other estate tax foes might not have been so quick to praise if they had read the fine print. Although the estate tax would indeed be repealed, it would be replaced by something that they may find worse: carryover basis.