The IRS announced the 2015 estate and gift tax limits at the end of October, and the federal estate tax exemption rises from $5.34 million to $5.43 million per person, while the annual gift exclusion remains at $14,000 per person and double that for joint gifts from spouses. These exemptions, over the last few years, have been adjusted marginally for inflation, impacting those who have an estate which exceeds or comes close to the thresholds.
The federal estate tax exemption, the amount an individual can leave to his or her heirs without having to pay federal estate tax—will be $5.43 million in 2015, up from $5.34 million for 2014. That’s another $90,000 that can be passed on tax-free. The federal estate tax rate is 40%. Another $90,000 passing tax free, is at the minimum another $36,000 saved in estate taxes if the individual meets or surpasses the exemption amount.
– Mark S. Balian