For this year, the lifetime estate tax exemption amount is $5.49 million dollars (an increase from $5.45 million in 2016). This means that if a person passes away in 2017, up to $5.45 million would be exempt from the federal estate tax. Anything over is subject to the federal estate tax rate (with a maximum tax rate at 40%).
The lifetime gift tax exemption amount is also $5.49 million dollars for individuals. An individual can leave up to $5.49 million to their heirs and not have to pay a gift tax for 2017. For a married couple, that will be $10.98 million dollars that they can give away without paying the federal estate or gift tax.
The annual gift exclusion remains the same at $14,000, meaning that an individual can give $14,000 to as many individuals as he or she would like in a given year.
About the Author
Christine Chung, Esq.