The number of federal estate tax returns
filed for all decedents fell "significantly"
between 2001 and 2009, from 108,071 to
38,031, according to this summer's issue of
the "Statistics of Income Bulletin" from the
Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Why such a big drop? It happened primarily
because of the rising exemption
levels for estates (from $675,000 for 2001
deaths to $3.5 million for 2009 deaths),
IRS economists Brian Raub and Joseph
Newcomb write. The number of returns
with an estate tax liability ("taxable
returns") also fell significantly-from
51,736 in 2001 to 14,713 in 2009.
But despite the decrease in returns
filed, "the estate tax liability reported
annually on taxable returns stayed
within a relatively narrow range of
$20.6 billion to $24.8 billion during
this period," the economists point out.
Let's hope those folks had lots of life