The Trump administration is looking to undo rules set by the Obama administration that would increase the death tax on wealth families.
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The Trump administration took a step toward blocking stricter enforcement of estate and gift taxes Friday, describing a set of proposed rules as overly burdensome.
The new rules, put forward last year by the Obama administration, would increase the taxes owed by some wealthy families. Lawyers and experts on the estate tax say that taxpayers have substantial leeway in determining how much their estates are worth and, as a result, how much they have to pay.
The Obama administration’s rules were intended to enforce the tax more strictly, but the new administration might prevent them from going into effect. The rules were among eight regulations put forward under Obama that Trump’s Treasury Department will try to modify or rescind, according to an interim report published last week.
Wealthy Americans pay estate and gift taxes when they die or when they pass wealth on to their heirs. The tax is primarily paid by the very richest families. Just 0.18 percent of people who died last year paid estate taxes, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. The center also estimates that 88 percent of the total estate taxes that are paid comes from people in the richest 10 percent of the income distribution.
The rules were designed to prevent wealthy inheritors from avoiding taxes.