Estate Planing, The Estate Tax & The FAIRtax
“Everybody wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die”. These words probably explain why one of the topics few people enjoy discussing is how we want to dispose of our estates. Of course, this doesn’t include “estate planners” who make a lot of money off the system. Some say the primary reason we tend to put off estate planning is people are forced to imagine a future where they or someone they care about is no longer living. This isn’t at the top of the list of things people want to do with their time.
However, when a person dies, a hefty estate tax will be levied on their estate before it can be passed to the heirs if the size of the estate exceeds the per person exemption in effect at the time, which can be changed by Congress at any time.
The per person exemption has increased over the past twenty years from a low of $675,000 with a top rate of 55% in 2001 to $11.58 million with a top rate of 40% today. Many of the 2020 Democrat presidential candidates called for a large reduction in the per person exemption and an increase in the top rate of the federal estate tax.
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democrat nominee, has promised to “revamp” the present estate tax which likely means reducing the per person exemption and increasing the tax rates.
They won’t come out and say it, but the reason large increases in the estate tax are being considered is The Ruling Class and their minions believe they know better than you do what’s the correct and proper way to spend a big chunk of the money you’ve spent a lifetime earning.
Like most aspects of the income/payroll tax system, the estate tax is very ineffective as a reallocation of wealth tool for which it is touted. People with very large estates can take elaborate steps to ensure the bulk of those estates escape taxation.
As is often the case with The Ruling Class and their minions:
the estate tax preys on the smaller estates where people don’t have the resources to hire the best estate planners and spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars it requires to set up an elaborate tax shelter. It’s as if these confiscators of wealth believe “the principle is the main thing” even if their scheme doesn’t work as planned and it harms people who weren’t the intended targets.
How Many Americans Are Millionaires?
The, Spectrem Group reported in its Market Insights Report 2019 the following:
- In 2018, there were 31.2 million households with a net worth between $100,000 - $1 million, an increase of 200,000 households from 2017
- The number of millionaires, defined in the report as those with a net worth between $1 million - $5 million, climbed to 10.23 million
- The households with a net worth of between $5 million - $25 million grew to 1,397,000 households, an increase of 47,000 from 2017
- There are now 173,000 households with a net worth exceeding $25 million, an increase of 1,000 households from the previous year
Inflation (which is created in Washington D.C.) is one of the factors which has led to this growth in the number of millionaires. For example, a home purchased in 1980 for $300,000 would be worth $1,005,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars today.
Let’s assume even the most ambitious estate tax proposals wouldn’t tax estates of less than $500,000. In this case, a minimum of 10,230,000 people could be subject to the estate tax. Since 2011, most people have understood the federal estate tax wouldn’t affect them because they had less than a $5 million taxable estate.
However, if the Democrats win the presidency and control both the U.S. House and the Senate, then all it takes is a bill passed by both houses and signed by the President for the per person estate tax exemption to be lowered to $500,000 or some other number. One of the major problems with the income/payroll/estate tax is it’s impossible to make long-term plans because there is no stability in the system. It can be changed at the whim of Congress and the President at any time.
The prospect of a radical change to the estate tax per person exemptions is why the people who profit from “estate tax planning” are sending out newsletters and writing blogs about why people need to rethink their estate plan and be ready to make changes if Mr. Biden wins the presidency and the Democrats control Congress.
These “advisors” insist all Americans with estates in excess of $500,000 immediately see an estate planner and pay thousands of dollars to put a plan in place which can be implemented if the Democrats win in November.
Like most things about this corrupt system, how ludicrous is it The Ruling Class and their minions dare to tell us if we make the provisions we want for our heirs, we will have to pay “estate tax advisors” to help us reduce the amount of estate tax we might have to pay?
What gives anyone the right to interfere with our decisions regarding how to dispose of any assets we have earned over our lifetimes?
Estate Planning Under The FAIRtax
Under The FAIRtax, the estate tax is repealed.
Instead of having to make choices dictated by “tax considerations”, we can make choices that truly express our wishes.
If we want to leave money in trust for future generations, we won’t have to worry about how the trust will be taxed. If we want to leave our business to our children, we won’t have to worry about where to get the money to pay estate taxes on the value of the business.
In short, with The FAIRtax, it’s us, not The Ruling Class and their minions in D.C., who decide what’s the best way to distribute our estates.
While the current federal estate tax came into being in “The Revenue Act of 1916”, there have been various versions of the estate tax for centuries. Governments are always looking for ways to get their hands on our money and to reward their friends and punish their enemies.
The Progressives who promoted the estate tax said they were trying to aim a tax at a small group of wealthy people to “confiscate” their wealth for the common good. The first per person exemption was $50,000 or $1,176,000 in today’s dollars.
Like most of these “only on the wealthy” taxes, the estate tax has been expanded until it now impacts millions of Americans who would be amazed to learn they are now considered “wealthy”. Part of the reason for this isn't surprising. The Ruling Class and their minions have allowed the very wealthy to “purchase” loopholes to allow them to largely avoid the federal estate tax. This is why many in D.C. are opposed to any meaningful per person exemption. The larger the per person exemption the smaller the group who will “contribute” to the politicians for loopholes.
As humorist Will Rogers said, “The only difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets”.
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The author George Bernard Shaw said these words in a play he wrote, You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”
Isn’t it time for us to ask, “Why not?”
President Trump, “Embrace The FAIRtax, the only real tax reform! Stand up to the Swamp. They will oppose you anyway because they see you as a threat. What have you got to lose?”
The truth is the truth! Remember, if we don't continue to tell the truth and demand a change, then George Orwell's "1984" quote may foretell our children's future: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever"
Thank you for staying FAIRtax strong!
Yours In Liberty! Yours In Freedom!
Chairman, Americans For Fair Taxation
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