Exemption Increases Again

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the estate tax exemption for 2015 has jumped to $5.43 million per person, up from $5.34 million, due to an adjustment for inflation.

For a married couple, the exemption increases to nearly $11 million, says a story in the Wall Street Journal.

The annual gift exclusion, however, will remain at $14,000 per recipient in 2015, the story notes. This is the amount that may be given tax-free to any individual.

With the now large federal exemption amount, not many estates are expected to owe taxes this year.

Only about 3,700 estates, or just over 1 percent of the total, will owe estate taxes to the federal government.

With these changes, estate planning strategies are shifting to ways to avoid state estate taxes and capital gains taxes, the story says.

State estate tax exemptions vary. Several states are in the process of increasing their exempted amount or have already done so.

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