Facts You Should Know About the Federal Estate Tax

The Federal Estate Tax is one of two major federal taxes. It is estimated that 0.2% of Americans will have to pay some type of Estate Tax during their lifetime. This tax has an extensive history and is complicated. There are multiple vetted providers to help you manage the Estate Tax.

Exemption Amount

You should know a few things about the federal estate tax exemption amounts. First, the current exemption amount of $5 million is set to expire in 2025. Once the exemption expires, it will revert to its pre-2018 level. That means you may be faced with higher estate tax bills than anticipated. However, you can still benefit from the increased exemption amount if you plan.

The federal estate tax is paid on the portion of an estate’s value that exceeds the exemption amount. For example, an estate worth $6 million would owe $510,000 in estate taxes. However, heirs can shield a large portion of this amount from taxation through generous deductions and discounts. This is especially true if the estate is worth over $10 million. In addition, the tax is graduated, so wealthy people can utilize a wide range of tax loopholes to minimize their business taxes.

Before setting your budget, consider the CBO’s projections for estate tax revenues in the coming decade. For each fiscal year, the CBO estimates the taxable amount of the taxable exemption. It then calculates the tax liabilities based on the Federal estate tax rates and brackets. By 2031, combined estate and gift tax receipts will be $372 billion. That’s less than 0.2 percent of GDP.


The California estate tax is similar to income taxes: the higher the value of an estate, the higher the tax rate. The estate tax rate begins at 18 percent for the first $10,000 of taxable transfers and goes up to 40 percent for estates over $1 million. States also have their estate taxes. In some states, the exemption amount is higher than the federal estate tax rate, but not by much.

The IRS provides forms and instructions for calculating the federal estate tax. You can also ask qualified professionals for help when completing your estate plan. The process is complex and expensive, but good estate planning can reduce the amount of estate taxes and ensure a smooth transfer of wealth. You can also use a calculator to estimate your estate tax.

As of 2018, there was a temporary increase in the Federal estate tax exemption. However, the exemption will drop to $5 million in 2026, adjusted for inflation. In addition, the federal estate tax law enacted in 2017 reduced the number of taxpayers who would have to file an estate tax return.


You have many options for estate planning. You can use the federal estate tax exclusion to transfer assets to beneficiaries. You can put your assets into a trust. This way, your assets can grow tax-free for the next generation.

You may consider a different strategy if your estate is less than the exclusion amount. Currently, the exclusion is worth more than $24 million per couple. However, only one in every 1,500 families will qualify for this exemption. In that case, your tax planning strategy should focus on income tax planning rather than estate tax planning.

You can consider using the GST exemption if you don’t want to use the exclusion amount. This will help you get the maximum tax-free amount. Remember, the amount can’t exceed the tentative net tax on your taxable estate.

Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

If your estate plan involves generation-skipping transfers, it is essential to understand GSTT and how it applies. GSTT is a tax on transfers of assets that occur more than the annual exclusion. There are several types of GSTT, including direct skips, indirect skips, and taxable terminations. Every kind of skip involves different rules.

This federal tax is imposed on asset transfers to future generations, whether by a direct transfer or a trust. The exemption amount and tax rate are similar to the federal estate tax. The main difference is that you can opt-out of automatic allocation to direct skips by preserving your estate-tax exemption during future tax distributions or terminations.

The GST exemption amount is indexed to inflation and equal to the estate tax unified credit amount. Therefore, if you transfer assets that exceed the GST exemption amount, it is deemed to be a lifetime direct skip.