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Address:

San Antonio Offices:
18756 Stone Oak Pkwy, Ste 200
San Antonio, TX 78258
Phone: 210.998.5608
Fax: 210.855.3252

17803 La Cantera Terrace, Suite 7101 
San Antonio, TX  78256
Phone: 210.686.9000
Fax: 210.855.3252

Austin Offices:
1250 Capital of Texas Hwy S.
Building 3, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: 512.329.1940
Fax: 888.600.7671

9442 North Capital of Texas Hwy
Plaza One, Ste 500
Austin, TX 78759
Phone: 210.240.1689    
Fax: 888.600.7671 
 
Fair Oaks Ranch Office:
8000 Fair Oaks Pkwy, Suite 104
Fair Oaks Ranch, TX 78015
Phone: 210.530.1270
Fax: 888.600.7671

Phone:

History of the federal estate tax

The history of estate taxes in America has been a long and winding road. Careful estate planning is still one of the most important ways to manage and protect your assets for your heirs.

The Stamp Act of 1797 was the first federal estate tax in the United States and was passed to help fund an undeclared war with France; it was repealed in 1802. The Revenue Act of 1862 reinstated the estate tax in order to fund the Civil War; it was abolished in 1870. To finance the Spanish American War, the War Revenue Act of 1898 was passed, and subsequently abolished in 1902. Due to the costs of World War I, the Revenue Act of 1916 reinstated an estate tax that, in some form or other, has been in effect ever since.

The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 gradually increased the federal estate tax exemption, until finally repealing the federal estate tax altogether for the 2010 tax year only. The Tax Relief Act of 2010 reinstated the federal estate tax with a $5 million exemption, indexing the exemption for inflation after 2011. The provisions of the Tax Relief Act of 2010 expired on December 31, 2012.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 increased the federal estate tax rate from 35% to 40%, but left in place the higher exemption level, which reached $5.49 million in 2017 (up from $5.45 million in 2016); both provisions are now permanent. It also left in place the “portability” of any unused exemption between spouses.

The latest major piece of tax legislation is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law on December 22, 2017. This Act doubled the federal estate tax exclusion to $11.18 million in 2018 (indexed annually for inflation) while retaining the 40% tax rate. In 2026, the exclusion is scheduled to revert to its pre-2018 level.

 

The information in this newsletter is not intended as tax, legal, investment, or retirement advice or recommendations, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. This material was written and prepared by Broadridge Advisor Solutions. © 2018 Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.

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