By, Kerry Reilly, Esq.
On January 15, 2015, Representative Shawn Dooley ((R), 9th Norfolk), et al., sponsored H.R. 2489 (replacing current Section 2A under Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 65C). A hearing on the bill took place on October 20, 2015. This bill would, among other things:
- Repeal the current Massachusetts estate tax threshold of $1,000,000 and tie that threshold to “50 percent of the basic exclusion amount as defined in Section 2010 of the [Internal Revenue] Code” for those individuals dying on or after January 1, 2016.
- Allow for the exclusion of the principal residence from the Massachusetts gross estate provided the decedent was a resident of Massachusetts at the time of his/her death. The definition of “Massachusetts gross estate” has been changed to include this election.
- Allow the surviving spouse to apply the deceased spouse’s unused exclusion amount to his/her gross estate. This would bring the Massachusetts estate tax exclusion in line with Federal tax laws allowing portability of estate tax exclusions between spouses.
- The”principal residence” and DSUEA elections would be made by the decedent’s Personal Representative on the decedent’s Massachusetts estate tax return.
- Lastly, the proposed bill would also simplify the tax table used to determine the Massachusetts estate tax liability, as follows:
|If the Massachusetts taxable estate is: Over………… But Not Over||The Massachusetts estate tax|
|$0 – $5,000,000||10% of the taxable estate|
|$5,000,000 – $10,000,000||$500,000 plus 11% of the excess over $5,000,000|
|$10,000,000 – $20,000,000||$1,050,000 plus 12% of the excess over $10,000,000|
|$20,000,000+||$2,250,000 plus 13% of the excess over $20,000,000|
As of October 29th, no additional action has been taken with respect to this proposed bill.
The full text of the proposed bill can be found here: