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Clinton calls for broadening estate tax, increasing its rate

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(Bloomberg) — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will call for taxing more estates and raising the rate at which they’re taxed, a campaign aide said Tuesday.

Clinton’s plan would tax individuals’ estates worth more than $3.5 million, down from $5.45 million currently. She also wants to raise the estate tax rate to 45 percent, from 40 percent today. The changes would be a return to the way the tax operated in 2009. President Obama and other Democrats have proposed similar adjustments.

Clinton’s estate tax proposal comes as her main opponent for the Democratic nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, has gained in key early-state polls. Sanders has also called for taxing estates worth more than $3.5 million, but he proposed a progressive series of tax rates, up to 65 percent on billionaires’ estates.

Clinton this week has been announcing her own plans for increasing taxes on the rich, including her call on Monday for a 4 percent “fair share surcharge” on incomes over $5 million. Speaking in Ames, Iowa, on Tuesday as she accepted the endorsement of the pro-gun control Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Clinton said that her record on guns was just one example of her history of taking on special interests.

“I went after carried interest, the hedge fund billionaire special loophole,” she said. “I went after derivatives and swaps. I went after corporate executive compensation. Some of my ideas got into Dodd-Frank, even though I was no longer in the Senate.”

Turning her attention to Sanders, she said: “So don’t talk to me about standing up to corporate interests and big powers. I’ve got the scars to show for it and I’m proud of every single one of them.”

Her estate tax proposals would affect four out of every 1,000 estates in the country and would also crack down on loopholes, including methods people use to make their estates appear to be worth less than they are, said the campaign aide, who asked not to be named.

See also:

Addressing beneficiaries in estate planning

These 5 tax facts will maximize year-end savings for your clients

The new IRS rules on estate closing letters


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