Trump Focuses on Tax Breaks for Rich
Donald Trump rallied workers during his campaign for the U.S. presidency, but he also championed one benefit favoring mostly the super-rich: eliminating the federal estate tax.
It's one part of the president-elect's overall tax plan about which he has been particularly specific. In conjunction with a repeal of the estate tax, Trump has proposed taxing capital gains on assets upon the owner's death, with exemptions for small businesses and family farms on the first $10 million.
Under current rules stateside, a taxpayer can pass up to $5.45 million U.S. to heirs tax-free. For married couples it's $10.9 million. Above that amount, beneficiaries must pay an estate tax of 40%. There are now also 15 states and the District of Columbia , which assess an estate tax, according to experts.
Only the wealthiest Americans now pay the federal levy. In 2015, the Tax Policy Center estimated there were about 10,800 estate returns filed and about half of those were taxable. Still, the amount of tax collected on just those returns was over $18 billion U.S., the Tax Policy Center said.
Right now, estates are taxed upon the transfer of assets from one generation to the next. Trump has proposed taxing any capital gains on estates when, or if, the beneficiaries sell the assets they've inherited.