Budget Proposals for 2016

According to a report of the Joint Committee on Taxation, President Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget includes the following measures affecting estates and trusts:

  • Restore the estate, gift, and generation-skipping exclusions and rates in effect in 2009 (i.e., $3,500,000 estate tax exclusion, $1,000,000 gift tax exclusion, and top tax rate of 45%).  This has been proposed every year since 2010.
  • For grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), the budget proposes that (a) GRATs have a minimum term of 10 years, (b) the remainder have a minimum value of either 25% of the initial funding or $500,000, whichever is less, and (c) grantors be prohibited from engaging in tax-free exchanges with the trust.  The first proposal has been made before, but the other two are new.
  • Limit the duration of generation-skipping tax exemption, which has been proposed before.
  • Limit the total amounts of gifts qualifying for the annual exclusion to $50,000, which has been proposed before.
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