The IRS recently announced a new simplified method is permanently available for certain estates to obtain an extension of time to make the estate tax portability election. This portability election allows a decedent’s unused exclusion amount to be used by the surviving spouse for subsequent transfers during life or at death. The simplified method can only be used by estates that are not otherwise required to file an estate tax return, Form 706, based on the value of the gross estate (Estates valued at less than $5.49 million are not required to file form 706). This election was previously available, but expired on December 31, 2014. Under the simplified method, which is effective on 6/9/17, the estate’s executor must file a complete and properly prepared Form 706 by 1/2/18 or the second annual anniversary of the decedent’s death, whichever is later.

If you are unsure how this affects your estate planning, Contact Us and we will be glad to review this with you.