Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Less than Half of the Estates Owe Tax In 2011

Since 2001, the filing threshold has gradually increased from $675,000 for 2001 deaths to $3.5 million for 2009 deaths.

The estate tax was temporarily repealed for 2010 deaths, but was later reinstated on a retroactive basis with a $5.0 million exemption level and a top marginal tax rate of 35 percent. This exemption level and top marginal rate will stay in effect for the estates of 2011 decedents.

Higlights of the Data
• Due primarily to increases in the filing threshold, the number of estate tax returns filed decreased from more than108,000 in 2001 to just over 15,000 in 2010.

• For Filing Year 2010, estates with gross assets above the filing threshold reported over $130 billion in assets.

• Almost 61 percent of 2010 estate tax decedents were male. Just over half of all decedents were married, while another 36 percent were widowed. Only 13 percent of decedents were single, divorced, or separated.

• Over 97 percent of the estates of married decedents, and 48 percent of estates overall, reported deductions for marital bequests, for a total of $42 billion. Only 9 percent of estates with a marital bequest owed estate tax.

• About 20 percent of estates claimed a charitable bequest deduction, for a total of $11.5 billion. Estates with $20 million or more in gross estate accounted for over 63 percent of this total, despite representing only 6 percent of filers.

• After accounting for marital and charitable bequests, as well expenses and debts of the estate, less than half of the estates filing in 2010 owed estate tax. The combined estate tax obligation of these estates was over $13 billion.
Have and Estate Tax Question?  Contact the Tax Lawyers at Marini & Associates, P.A. for a FREE Tax Consultation at or or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).


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