By Nichole Westin, ASSET
When people line up for hours to score the best deal on a television the size of a small car, after spending hours cross-referencing online sites, social media, and old fashioned newspaper inserts, one has to step back and wonder just how it became so complicated. Or how the economy came to depend on the revenue and sales tax collected from bargain hunters in a few short hours.
This deluges of shopping is often followed by a gentle backlash of pleas for simplicity, a focus on the small moments in life. At ASSET, we are not pleading, but successfully advocating for the simplification of the U.S. tax code. We have made great strides with the introduction of the bi-partisan, The American Solution for Simplifying the Estate Tax Act of 2015 (“ASSET Act”)(H.R. 3508). There is much more to be done and we need your help. As Congress enters the now annual holiday legislative frenzy, please take a few moments to reach out to your Member of Congress to ask for their support of this legislation.
How would this bill simplify your life? By protecting all you’ve worked hard for entire your life. If you own a business with assets over a certain threshold, you might be worried the impact your death will have on your family, estate, and even employees. Far too often, when the primary business owner passes, the heirs are faced with an enormous tax burden that results in a rapid eradication of the assets – including, but not limited to, the sale of the business. This can mean closing the business and the loss of jobs with ripple effects throughout a community, particularly in small towns and rural areas.
Participants in the opt-in ASSET Solution agree to pay an additional 1% of his or her AGI each year. Once in the system, these payments must continue through the earning life of the taxpayer, but no tax will be levied against the estate at his or her death. The assets remain intact until they are sold, at which time they will be subject to capital gains tax at the then current rate (or the rate that existed at the time the “opt in” decision was made, whichever is lower).
If H.R. 3508 becomes law, everyone – the government, the individual, and their heirs – would see the benefits. The government would have increased tax revenue, program participants would save money by avoiding costly fees to shelter assets and having a set tax rate, and their heirs would avoid a huge tax hit during an already stressful and sad time. The heirs can keep the family business or farm and continue to provide good jobs to keep the economy churning 365 days a year.
So during this time when we try to streamline while juggling complicated schedules, we ask you to take a few moments to reach out to Congress and ask them to consider joining us in our quest for tax simplicity by supporting H.R. 3508.