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Showing posts from October, 2017

IRS Extends Deadline for Widows' Election of Estate Tax Portability

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If your spouse died since 2011, the IRS earlier this year extended the timeframe you have to make a "portability" election by filing a Form 706 Estate Tax Return, until the later of either January 2, 2018 or the second anniversary of the decedent's date of death.  See Revenue Procedure 2017-34.

Here's what that means and why it is important. Remember the "fiscal cliff" issue from a few years back?  The federal estate tax used to have a sunset provision.  When that expired, Congress did not update it right away, but debated what to do, before finally enacting a law that made the estate tax permanent (not sunsetting). The estate tax exclusion, the threshold amount of wealth below which you would not owe any estate tax, was set at $5 million, with an adjustment each year for inflation. (For 2017 that number is $5.49 million, and the IRS has announced it will go up to $5.6 million for 2018.  For ease of reference, I'm going to stick to the round number $5 …