2015 Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions

February 2nd, 2015 by beasleyferber

The Federal Estate Tax exemption changes each year with inflation.  For 2015,  the exemption will rise to $5.43 million per person.  (It had been $5.34 million in 2014).  For a married couple, the exemption is $10.86 million.  Obviously, very few estates will be subject to federal taxation.  If a spouse dies with a taxable estate, i.e., one above $5.43 million, this exemption can be carried over to the surviving spouse, in a concept known as “portability.”  This is not automatic, however, as it requires that an estate tax  return be filed within nine months of the first to die.

In New Hampshire, there is no estate tax, in Maine the exemption is $2 million and in   Massachusetts, the exemption is $1 million.  Tjhe taxable estate consists of everything the decedent owned, including not-so-obvious things such as life insurance, IRAs, jewelry, cars and tangible personal property.  It is therefore crucial that every Massachusetts (and, to a lesser extent, Maine) resident total up all of his or her assets to see if their estate might be subject to tax.

The 2015 gift tax exempt amount will remain at $14,000 for the year 2015.  This means that you are entitled to gift up to $14,000 per year, without tax reporting, to any individual, whether or not the recipient is related to you.  Between spouses (provided the spouse is a US citizen) you can give an unlimited amount without tax reporting.

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