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IRS Announces 2023 Increases to Estate and Gift Tax Exclusions

December 13, 2022

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced the 2023 cost of living adjustments for the estate and gift tax exclusion amounts. 

Gift Tax Exclusion Amount:

The annual gift tax exclusion is the amount ("Gift Tax Exclusion Amount") an individual may gift to any number of persons without incurring a gift tax or reporting obligation. The Gift Tax Exclusion Amount will increase from $16,000 to $17,000 in 2023 (a combined $34,000 for married couples). The Gift Tax Exclusion Amount renews annually, so an individual who gifted $16,000 to someone in 2022 may gift $17,000 to that same person in 2023, without any reporting obligation. However, for any gift above the $17,000 in 2023, the individual making the gift must report it to the IRS.

Example A: A single person gives her two children $17,000 each in 2023. Each gift falls within the Gift Tax Exclusion Amount so the gifting individual will not have to pay any gift tax or notify the IRS. A married couple could give $34,000 to each child, with the same effect.

Example B: Compare a single person who wants to give her only child $20,000 in 2023. The person who gave the gift must notify the IRS of the $3,000 gift because it exceeds the $17,000 Gift Tax Exclusion Amount.

Estate Tax Exclusion Amount:

The estate tax exclusion is the amount ("Estate Tax Exclusion Amount") an individual can transfer estate tax-free upon his or her death. The Estate Tax Exclusion Amount will increase from $12,060,000 to $12,920,000 in 2023 (a combined $25,840,000 for married couples).

Example A: A single person with two children passes away in 2023 owning $12,920,000 in assets. The deceased person's two children will inherit the full $12,920,000 as no estate tax is owed.

Example B:  A single person with two children passes away in 2023 owning $20,000,000 in assets. The decedent's estate will owe tax on the assets owned that exceeded the $12,920,000 Estate Tax Exclusion Amount ($20,000,000 - $12,920,000 = $7,080,000). The current estate tax rate is approximately 40% which means the decedent’s estate will owe estate taxes in the amount of $2,832,000 ($7,080,000 x 40%).

Please contact a Miller Canfield estate planning attorney to discuss how these increased exclusion amounts will impact your estate plan and family wealth transfer goals.

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