Here’s plain talk about taxation at death, with a few words about inequality. Why? Because President Obama, in his State of the Union Address, has suggested changes to the tax code. Matt O’Brien for the Washington Post wrote President Obama Finally Has His Piketty Moment on January 17, before the speech was given. The article summarizes the Administration proposals very well.
Today I’m focused most on the stepped-up basis at death. Easy, really! Basis is the adjusted cost of property, and is a tax concept. Stepped-up basis at death means your estate’s basis equals fair market value at death, not your adjusted cost.
So, assume you bought a piece of vacant land in 2000 for $100,000. Basis