Estate Tax Figures Highlighted For 2015

January 20, 2015
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Goodbye 2014! Hello 2015! Here’s everything you need to know about the estate tax figures for this year.

As we ring in the new year, the federal estate tax is undergoing a few predictable changes. As an informed citizen arranging your affairs, it is important to stay on top of the relevant figures as they change or stay the same. To that end, the most important figures to know relating to the estate tax figures in 2015 are below.

The estate tax exclusion is going up

Because it was recently indexed for inflation, the federal estate tax exemption is going up. This means that the size that an estate will need to be in 2015 before it triggers the estate tax is now larger. In 2014, the exemption was $5.34 million per person. In 2015, that will go up by about $90,000 to $5.43 million per person. Keep in mind that money is freely transferrable between you and your spouse if you are married. This means that for a married couple, the estate tax exemption is actually going to be $10.86 million in 2015.

The annual gift exclusion is staying the same

The annual gift exclusion – that is, the amount that you can gift in cash or property without tacking that amount onto the size of your taxable estate – will remain at $14,000 for 2015. The annual gift exclusion is also indexed for inflation, but the figure is rounded to the nearest $1,000 increment. Because inflation was small enough that it didn’t bump the annual gift exclusion into a new category, it will remain the same. If your estate is large enough that you are likely to incur the estate tax upon your death, it is important to begin planning now. There are a number of means and strategy by which the size of an estate can be lowered while still directing your wealth toward the best interests of your loved ones.