Nov 30, 2021

Estate, Gift and Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Exclusion Amounts for 2022

By Jordan M. Wassel, Esq.

The federal basic exclusion amount for estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer tax purposes was $11,700,000 per person in 2021. This figure will increase to $12,060,000 in 2022. This basic exclusion amount represents the total amount of property that an individual may pass to anyone, through lifetime gifting and upon his or her death, without the imposition of a federal estate, gift or generation skipping transfer tax.

Further, the concept of portability will still apply in 2022, which allows the surviving spouse to add any unused portion of the basic exclusion amount of the first spouse to die to the survivor’s own exclusion amount for gift or estate (but not for generation skipping transfer) tax purposes.

The law providing for the enhanced lifetime basic exclusion amount is scheduled to automatically expire (“sunset”) beginning January 1, 2026, at which time, absent any intervening federal legislation to the contrary, an individual’s basic exclusion amount will reset to about $6,500,000 (which equals the $5,490,000 amount in 2016 plus an inflation adjustment to January 1, 2026).

Additionally, the annual gift tax exclusion amount will increase from $15,000 to $16,000 for 2022. The annual gift tax exclusion had been $15,000 since 2018. This exclusion amount allows individuals, in 2022, to gift up to $16,000 to each of an unlimited number of individuals, without the imposition of a gift tax or the application of the basic exclusion amount to avoid tax. Any aggregate annual gifts exceeding $16,000 to any one individual will necessitate the filing of a federal gift tax return (Form 709) and will reduce the individual’s lifetime federal applicable exclusion amount by the overage.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact any member of Schenck Price's Estate, Gift & Charitable Planning Practice Group.

DISCLAIMER: This Alert is designed to keep you aware of recent developments in the law. It is not intended to be legal advice, which can only be given after the attorney understands the facts of a particular matter and the goals of the client.