Gary Cohn (Photo: Donald Trump/YouTube)

President Donald Trump will include estate tax repeal in his tax reform proposal, the administration’s top economic advisor said today in Washington.

Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, talked about estate tax repeal at a White House briefing. The White House has posted a video of the briefing on YouTube.

(Related: White House Unveils Trump’s First Tax-Cut Bid, Corporate Rate of 15%)

“We’re going to repeal the death tax,” Cohn said. “The threat of being hurt by the death tax leads small-business owners and farmers in this country to waste countless hours and resources on complicated estate planning to make sure their children aren’t hit with a huge tax when they die. No one wants to see their children have to sell the family business to pay an unfair tax.”

Trump is proposing that the estate tax would be eliminated as soon as the proposal becomes law, Cohn said.

Cohn said the Trump administration tax reform proposal will include many tax breaks that help high-income people but will protect tax incentives that encourage charitable giving and retirement saving.

(Related: Kleinbard to Congress: The Cows Must Die)

Cohn said the proposal will also replace the current seven tax brackets with three; set the tax rate for the highest income bracket at 35%; and double the standard deduction, to free a couple’s first $24,000 in income from federal income taxes.

The administration has said it will post the proposal. At press time, a text was not on the web.

In the past, advocates of tax reform and estate tax repeal have had a tough time paying for the changes in ways that could get through the Senate. The proposal might need just 51 votes to get through the Senate if it’s classified as “budget neutral,” but the proposal might need 60 votes to pass if it appears likely to have a big effect on the budget deficit.

The estate tax now applies only to estates with a value over about $5.5 million for individuals and $11 million for couples.

Estate tax repeal could reshape the wealth-transfer services and products that agents and advisors offer high-net-worth clients.

 

— Read 3 Lessons Prince Left Agents and Advisors on ThinkAdvisor.