The Presidential election season is officially underway even though a primary election will not be held for another half a year. As in all recent election seasons, we can expect the candidates to come out with a position on the estate tax. Bernie Sanders announced his position recently.
Most political observers do not think that Bernie Sanders has much of a chance of beating out Hilary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President. However, Sanders is expected to make some waves in the primaries.
Recently, in an effort to drum up some support, he proposed an increase to the federal estate tax.
Sanders would lower the exemption for a single person from the current $5 million (indexed for inflation) to $3.5 million. He would also increase the estate tax rate to 45% for some. He includes tiers that would have billion dollar estates paying 65% estate tax rates.
As part of this proposal, Sanders would also lower the gift tax exemption and close some loopholes that currently allow people to shelter assets from the estate tax.
Forbes reported this proposal in a recent article titled "Bernie Sanders Calls for 65% Top Estate Tax Rate."
With Republican congressional efforts currently focused on eliminating the estate tax entirely, it is extremely unlikely that Sanders' proposal will pass anytime soon.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that not everyone in Washington is in favor of repealing or reducing the estate tax. Consequently, efforts to do so face an uphill battle.
Those interested in the estate tax - particularly owners of family businesses, farms and ranches - will want to monitor the election to see what other candidates propose concerning the estate tax.
Reference: Forbes (June 25, 2015) "Bernie Sanders Calls for 65% Top Estate Tax Rate."