In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel called for the “Abolition of all rights of inheritance.” Simon Black reports that the United States inheritance tax will go up from 35% on the everything after the first $5,000,000 to 55% on everything over $1,000,000.
US Expats, what are you waiting for? Consider the price of my house: In 1997 when we bought it, it was worth $200,000 or about $150,000. Now it is worth $460,000 CDN or US $460,000. At that rate, in 15 years, when I’m ready to retire, my house will be worth 1.38 million, and if in another 15 years, if I die at the ripe age of 80, my house will be worth $4.14 million, and since my half will be worth 2.07 million, it would be subject to $588,500 in estate taxes to the US–if I hadn’t relinquished my US citizenship. The US could potentially expect my wife to sell the house to pay the taxes. But she is Canadian. Why should she pay taxes to the United States on her inheritance in Canada.
Do you have someone, a spouse or a child who depends on you for whom you wish to leave an inheritance? Do you want the United States to lay claim to 55% of your estate, whatever happens to be over $1,000,000? No? Then, get yourself to a nearby US Consulate and renounce already.
We might be overthinking this one.
The future deceased is already fully US tax compliant. So it’s not the same situation as someone like myself, a non-compliant dual who’s mildly worried that an executor might take it into their own hands to (expensively) bring the estate into compliance. And she is most definitely not a covered expatriate whose gifts to US citizens would be punitively taxed.
So I’m not sure there’s really much to worry about. The money involved is well below the $5-10 million threshold for the estate tax. The only consideration *might* be to liquidate US assets prior to death if it avoids some sort of special estate return – about this I know nothing.
As for the future recipients, some are tax compliant US citizens, so will deal with it however they have to deal with it. Others are Canadian, and won’t have any US tax problems.