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The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued proposed regulations targeting the valuation practices of family-owned businesses that would lead to dramatically higher estate and gift taxes by eliminating the use of discounts currently permitted. By considering minority family interests as if they were controlling stakes, the rules would impose higher effective tax rates by applying existing estate and gift taxes to inflated asset valuations that don’t reflect their fair market price. If allowed to take effect, the rules would amount to a de facto increase of 30 percent or more.

According to The Wall Street Journal, this is a “stealth death tax increase” that “rewrites longstanding interpretations of law.” Associated Builders and Contractors has joined the National Federation of Independent Business and National Association of Manufacturers in demanding the U.S. Treasury withdraw the rule.


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