Most advisor attention as it regards Biden’s tax plan has been about increased capital gains taxes and the unwinding of the “step-up basis” in the inheritance of assets. However, there is another major risk and complication on the horizon. That has to do with state level inheritance laws and how they interact with Biden’s plan. The federal government has no formal inheritance tax, but rather an estate tax. States, by contrast, often have inheritance taxes. The big difference between the two is that the estate tax is levied on the estate itself, whereas inheritance taxes are levied on the beneficiaries. That means that each individual is subject to a different level of taxes based on their income.
FINSUM: To be clear, the implications of this are quite large for HNW individuals, as they could face much higher federal estate taxes in addition to high state level inheritance taxes.