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Texas lawmaker wants to bid farewell to inheritance tax

When a loved one passes away and you are dealing with the estate, chances are fairly good that you haven't really considered how the inheritance tax might affect what you get from the estate. If some Texas lawmakers have their way, you might not have to worry about the estate tax at all.

Currently, the estate tax applies to estates with assets valued at more than $10 million for couples or $5.25 million for individuals. The penalty for these estates is 40 percent. Now, Texas Representative Kevin Brady is trying to repeal the estate tax, which is also known as the death tax.

Brady says that things passed down through the family might have a value that adds up quickly, especially for farming families and small business owners. He notes that equipment, land, real estate and technology are all expensive so the value can quickly equal more than the minimums. He says it is like taking part of a nest egg that was built up through hard work.

Some Republicans say that this death tax is actually a form of double taxation because the money was taxed with it was earned and then again when the person dies. Brady points to families who have had to sell property to pay the tax on the estate left to them in the family will. He says in some cases, claiming an estate is double taxed is being nice. He says in some cases, it is taxed three or four times.

In response to the Democratic claim that Republicans are trying to stop a revenue source, Brady says that doing away with the estate tax will encourage small business owners and farmers to invest in their business. He says this will help to grow the local economies without having to tax the people to death.

Until the inheritance tax is repealed, estate planning might be a way that small business owners and family farms can control the damage the estate tax does when a person dies. Knowing how to apply the laws to an individual case is vital to ensure that the estate planning wasn't done in vain.

Source: WND Radio, "Taxed to death: Now left dying for your inheritance" Greg Corombos, May. 24, 2014

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