By: William C. Hussey, II

Déjà vu all over again! The inauguration of President Donald J. Trump and seating of the Republican-controlled 115th Congress brings with it the renewed potential for repeal of the federal estate, generation skipping transfer and gift taxes. Just as the federal estate tax ends the celebration of its 100th anniversary, there is a renewed interest in repealing the “death tax” in Washington.

Given the expansive list of policy priorities laid out during the Trump campaign, and the sparsity of detail regarding many of his tax proposals, it is not yet certain when and in what final form such repeal of the federal transfer tax system may take. This uncertainty is similar to that which preceded the repeal, albeit temporary, of the estate and GST taxes in 2010. The current prospect of repeal differs insofar as the details of the tax regime—i.e., carryover basis and continuation of the gift tax—that would take hold following  the 2010 repeal was already well known to practitioners before it took effect.

Bill Hussey discusses previous and current efforts to repeal the federal transfer tax system and recommendations for wealth planners in his article, "Planning Now: Possible Federal Transfer Tax Repeal."