2017 IRS changes on estate tax and gifts

Posted by: Feb 22, 2017By Brian Stutheit

The basic estate exclusion amount increases to $5,490,000 in 2017 from $5,450,000 in 2016.

The annual exclusion amount for gifts remains at $14,000.

In regulations issued in late 2016, the IRS adjusted the definition of “spouse” to include anyone lawfully married under the laws of the state where the marriage took place.  This change came about largely because of Supreme Court decisions that it was unconstitutional to prohibit same sex marriage.  A civil union, or domestic partnership arrangement, is still not considered by the IRS as a marriage.