Portability of Applicable Exclusion Amount between Spouses

For married individuals who died in 2011 or in 2012, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the 2010 Tax Act) added a new portability provision allowing a surviving spouse to use any unused applicable exclusion amount of a deceased spouse for gift and estate tax purposes. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the 2012 Tax Act) permanently extended portability of the unused applicable exclusion amount between spouses. Portability of the exclusion between spouses and an increase in the basic exclusion amount would seem to make estate planning easier for many estates.

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