Want proof taxes can actually go down? In the last three years, nine states have eliminated or lowered their estate taxes, mostly by raising exemptions. And more reductions are coming. Minnesota lawmakers recently raised the state's estate-tax exemption to $2.1 million retroactive to January, and the exemption will rise to $2.4 million next year. Maryland will raise its $3 million exemption to $4 million next year. New Jersey's exemption, which used to rank last at $675,000 per person, rose to $2 million
A version of this article originally published in March 2016. Anytime you read about health-savings accounts (HSAs), there's the obligatory windup about how quickly they're growing. And the uptake has been notable, mainly due to the growth in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), which workers must be covered by in order to contribute to an HSA. A survey by America's Health Insurance Plans showed that the number of Americans covered by HDHPs--and who are, in turn, eligible for HSAs--rose by two million
The estates of many recently deceased American taxpayers will now more easily obtain a crucial tax benefit thanks to an Internal Revenue Service decision. Revenue Procedure 2017-34, which takes effect immediately, gives the estates of many people who died in 2011 and after until at least Jan. 2, 2018 to make a "portability" election. This provision allows a surviving spouse to receive the unused portion of the partner's federal estate-tax exemption-a move that can shelter millions extra in assets from tax.