Planning for Life

Egg on My Face: Misunderstanding the Massachusetts Estate Tax

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 5, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis

Massachusetts-estate-tax-planning-margolis-and-bloomI've written extensively about the Massachusetts estate tax, helped many clients both plan to avoid or minimize and prepared many estate tax returns and even been cited in a recent editorial about the tax in The Boston Globe. Yet there's a fundamental feature of the tax that I never understood.

Here's what The Globe said:

Once an estate reaches the taxation threshold, Massachusetts has this unusual (and compared with other estate-tax states, regressive) feature: The tax isn’t assessed just on the value above $1 million. Rather, after a $40,000 exemption, the levy applies to the entire value of the remaining estate. (Oregon, contrariwise, only taxes the value of an estate in excess of $1 million.)

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Topics: Massachusetts estate tax

6 Reasons to Keep the Massachusetts Estate Tax

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on August 27, 2021

alexander-mils-lCPhGxs7pww-unsplashBy Harry S. Margolis

The Boston Globe yesterday published an editorial (in which I'm cited) calling for reform of the Massachusetts estate tax, arguing that because we have the nation's lowest estate tax threshold of $1 million, shared only with the state of Oregon, we are out of step with the rest of the country and especially other states in New England. They also argue that with median housing prices reaching $811,000 in the Boston area, that even estates of middle-income residents are subject to the Massachusetts estate tax and that they should not be.

Reasons We Should Keep the Estate Tax

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Topics: estate taxes, Massachusetts estate tax

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