Friday, July 16, 2010

death and ($600 million less in) taxes: the case of George Steinbrenner

From Laura Saunders in the WSJ...

The timing of George Steinbrenner's death (in 2010) will probably save his heirs a ton of money in taxes.

The Yankees owner accumulated a net worth of about $1.15 billion, according to Forbes magazine—much of that stemming from the YES television network. Mr. Steinbrenner acquired the Yankees in 1973 for $10 million.

Because Mr. Steinbrenner died in a year when there is no federal estate tax, he potentially saved his heirs a 55% levy on his assets—amounting to a tax bill of about $600 million.

The 55% tax takes effect on Jan. 1, 2011.

If Mr. Steinbrenner had died in 2009, when the estate-tax rate was 45%, his estate-tax bill could have been nearer $500 million....


Two obvious angles come to mind:

1.) Why is there an estate tax in any case? Steinbrenner has already paid taxes at least once-- on all of that money. (If the money was earned illegally, then perhaps not; on the other hand, he's probably paid taxes on a lot of money more than once.)

2.) If Congress is going to have an estate tax, why have 45% last year, 55% next year, and 0% this year?!

3 Comments:

At July 16, 2010 at 1:58 PM , Blogger dscully said...

Sadistically, it makes me want to die this year instead of sometime in the future. My kids can enjoy all $5,000 and 2 Dodge Caravans comprising my estate.

 
At July 16, 2010 at 8:50 PM , Blogger Jenna said...

US Government Theft is out of control. You get taxed every year on the same property you own all your life and then when you die, they take half. Why do we put up with it.

 
At July 17, 2010 at 12:10 AM , Blogger Dave said...

That was kind of George! Maybe A-Rod and crew will use that to try and get raises....

 

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