Estate & Gift Tax Exclusions


Every US taxpayer is entitled to an exclusion that exempts a certain amount of assets from estate and gift taxes. As shown in the chart, the estate tax exclusion will be increased, and estate tax rates will be reduced, through 2010, when the tax is scheduled to be repealed.

For gifts made after 2001, the lifetime exclusion amount for gift tax purposes is $1 million.

An individual may give up to $11,000 per person to anyone he or she chooses, and it does not count against the $1 million lifetime gift limit.

The unlimited marital deduction enables married couples to transfer any property to their spouse without federal estate or gift tax obligations.

Estate Tax Rates

Year Estate tax Rate Exclusion Amount
2005 47% $1.5 million
2006 46% $2 million
2007 45% $2 million
2008 45% $2 million
2009 45% $3.5 million
2010 estate tax repealed
2011 55% $1 million