Center for Political Awareness

America’s Billionaires are Really Going to Hate This New Senate Bill

It kills the neat trick they use to enrich their offspring without paying taxes.

Image: Mother Jones; Getty

 

The next two decades will be pivotal for America’s dynasties, as aging Boomers and Silent Generation elders pass along a projected $84 trillion in assets to their heirs. At the end of 2025, meanwhile, nearly $5 trillion worth of oligarch-friendly tax provisions passed by Congress in 2017 are set to expire. A wealthy married couple can now simply hand their little princelings up to $27.2 million without triggering a gift or estate tax. Come 2026, they will only be able to give about half that amount before the taxes kick in. (“Use it or lose it,” cautions one wealth advisory firm.)

The very rich, of course, have their workarounds. But now Senate Finance Committee chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Angus King (D-ME) have introduced a bill that would deprive them of one of the most popular ones.

It is known as a Walton GRAT—yes, those Waltons. Short for “grantor-retained annuity trusts,” GRATs are heavily marketed by wealth advisors as a way families can channel jaw-dropping sums to their heirs while avoiding gift and estate taxes.

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