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New York’s Recent Estate Tax Law Changes – What is Estate Tax Anyway?

You may have heard that New Yorkers may be subject to an estate tax depending on the value of their estate when they die. You may also have heard some buzz about recent changes to New York’s estate tax law that sounds favorable to New Yorkers…favorable meaning less tax owed.

What is an estate tax? An estate tax is a tax on the transfer of assets after you die based upon the value of those assets. An estate tax is separate and distinct from income tax. It is, in a sense, a transfer tax. An estate tax will likely include some property on which you have already paid income tax. Moreover, an estate tax is assessed against you (or more accurately, your estate) once you are no longer with us.

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Save Your Estate Some Taxes: Start Gifting Now

Countless individuals make gifts to charity every year not only to support their favorite philanthropic causes but to also take advantage of tax savings in the form of a deduction on their 1040 income tax return. As you may be well aware from conversations with your accountant or tax preparer, there is no similar income tax deduction for gifting to one’s children and loved ones. However, there are potential estate tax benefits for making such gifts that you may want to consider.

What is the “Gift Tax” Anyway?

Any direct or indirect transfer to an individual where full consideration (measured in money or money’s worth) is not received in return is considered a gift. All gifts are “taxable” unless they fall within one of the exceptions discussed below.

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