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Bankrate's 2010 Tax Guide
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2009-2010 estate and gift tax amounts

If you give someone money or property during your life, you may be subject to federal gift tax.

The money and property you own when you die, known as your estate, also may be subject to federal estate tax. However, federal tax laws allow you to give money away during your lifetime or leave to your heirs certain amounts that are exempt from taxation.

The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 provides for increasing exemptions from the estate tax, with its elimination in 2010. Congress is expected to reinstate some form of estate tax for 2010. However, if no action is taken, the estate tax will return in 2011 with a higher tax rate that will apply to more estates.

Estate tax phaseout
Year of deathEstate tax exemptionMaximum rate on estate greater than exemption
2005$1.5 million47 percent
2006, 2007 and 2008$2 million46 percent in 2006
45 percent in 2007 and 2008
2009$3.5 million45 percent
2010Tax repealedTax repealed, but gift tax still applies in some cases at 35 percent rate
2011$1 million55 percent

Annual gift tax exclusion

You can give the following monetary amounts to each person, and to as many individuals as you want, without triggering the gift tax. The amount is indexed each year for inflation.
Annual gift tax exclusion
Year madeExcluded from tax





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