The Internal Revenue Service has painted a statistical portrait of just how sweet big estates were – and how quickly health savings account contributions were growing — back in 2007, as the investment markets were peaking.
The IRS has included data on estate tax returns, individual tax deductions, and other topics in the latest Statistics of Income Bulletin.
A review of estate tax returns filed from 2001 to 2007 shows that the number of estates filing any estate tax return fell to 38,031 in 2007, from 108,071 in 2001, because of changes that freed more Americans from the estate tax.
But the number of estate tax returns filed for “wealthy decedents” – those with at least $3.5 million in gross estate, increased to 14,281 in 2007, from 9,440 in 2001.
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The total asset portfolios of those wealthy decedents increased to $146 billion in 2007, or an average of about $10 million per estate, from $91 billion in 2001, or about $9.6 million per estate.
The percentage of stock in those portfolios fell to 38% in 2007, from 47% in 2001, and the percentage in cash increased to 7.8%, from 7.2%.
The percentage in investment real estate increased to more than 15%, from 9.4%.