Federal Estate and Gift Tax Rates and Exclusions

The following is a chart of the federal estate tax exclusions. the bottom and top tax rates that have been in effect since 1977 (assuming no taxable gifts before 1977), and the federal gift tax annual exclusions.  The federal gift tax lifetime exclusion amounts were the same as the estate tax exclusions, except for the years 2004 through 2010, when the federal gift tax exclusion amount was limited to $1,000,000.

Year


Estate Tax Exclusion

Estate Tax Initial Rate (Above Exclusion)

Estate Tax Maximum Rate

Gift Tax Annual Exclusion

1977

$120,667

30%

70%

$3,000

1978

$134,000

30%

70%

$3,000

1979

$147,333

30%

70%

$3,000

1980

$161,563

32%

70%

$3,000

1981

$175,625

32%

70%

$3,000

1982

$225,000

32%

65%

$10,000

1983

$275,000

34%

60%

$10,000

1984

$325,000

34%

55%

$10,000

1985

$400,000

34%

55%

$10,000

1986

$500,000

37%

55%

$10,000

1987-1996

$600,000

37%

55%

$10,000

1997

$600,000

37%

60%[1]

$10,000

1998

$625,000

37%

60%[1]

$10,000

1999

$650,000

37%

60%[1]

$10,000

2000-2001

$675,000

37%

60%[1]

$10,000

2002

$1,000,000

41%

50%

$11,000

2003

$1,000,000

41%

49%

$11,000

2004

$1,500,000

45%

48%

$11,000

2005

$1,500,000

45%

47%

$11,000

2006

$2,000,000

46%

46%

$12,000

2007-2008

$2,000,000

45%

45%

$12,000

2009

$3,500,000

45%

45%

$13,000

2010[2]-2011

$5,000,000

35%

35%

$13,000

2012

$5,120,000

35%

35%

$13,000

2013

$5,250,000

40%

40%

$14,000

2014

$5,340,000

40%

40%

$14,000

2015

$5,430,000

40%

40%

$14,000

2016

$5,450,000

40%

40%

$14,000

2017

$5,490,000

40%

40%

$14,000

2018

$11,180,000

40%

40%

$15,000

2019

$11,400,000

40%

40%

$15,000

2020

$11,580,000

40%

40%

$15,000

Notes to table:

[1]  The 60% maximum tax rate actually represents an additional 5% that was added to estates of more than $10,000,000 from the years 1997 to 2001 in order to eliminate the benefit of the progressive tax table.  The additional 5% ended at a taxable estate of $17,184,000, which is when the average tax rate reached 55%.  So the top marginal tax rate during those years was 60%, but the top average tax rate was 55%.

[2]  The federal estate tax in 2010 was actually optional, and estates could elect to pay no estate tax and instead accept a limit on the increase in the income tax basis on assets included in the estate.

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