Biden Administration Seeks to Weaponize Death Taxes
The Biden administration has made it abundantly clear it intends to raise taxes to pay for at least a portion on its proposed $6 trillion in new government spending.
The details on who will pay, and how much, are getting clearer. The group Biden wants to pay the most: the “rich,” are very likely to get soaked. One way is through additional taxes on estates. As the Tax Foundation notes:
By historical standards, Biden’s plan to tax unrealized gains at death and levy the estate tax at the same time is quite unique. Traditionally, estate tax law has allowed for a “step-up” in the basis of transferred assets so that they were not hit by the capital gains tax and the estate tax at the same time. Combining both taxes results in a total tax liability of $61.1 million on the original $100 million asset, for an effective tax rate of 61 percent. The tax rate under Biden’s proposal is nearly twice the effective tax rate that the same asset would face today under existing tax rules.
In other words, the unavoidable act of dying will result in more, and more costly taxes. While some may cheer this – after all, only the idle rich will have to pay such punishing taxes rates, the reality is far different:
…some Senate Democrats are already balking. Rep. Cindy Axne (D., Iowa) is concerned about the impact on family-owned farms and is working with other lawmakers from rural areas to seek an exemption for them. Republicans say tax increases would kill jobs and slow the economic recovery.
There’s a long way to go before any of Mr. Biden’s tax schemes become law. But right out of the gate, the administration is making it clear it wants more money. And if that means making it more expensive to die, then so be it.