I first became a trust officer in 1972, and that has never been true. Common misconceptions die slowly. For most of that time, if the primary asset of a family farm or family business was more than a certain percentage of the total estate, then the estate could pay the tax bill over a ten-year period. Recently, the IRS held that if an asset was more than 35% of the total estate, the resulting tax could still be paid out over ten years, but that ten-year amortization period would not begin for another 5 years. In other words, you would have 15 years to deal with the problem.
And, in case you haven’t noticed, a married couple now doesn’t have to pay any tax until their combined estate is well over $10 million. In 1972, it was a mere $120 thousand.
I doubt that will cause the tax to be any less hated, but I would hope we could at least call it by the correct name, which is the Federal Estate tax . . . it was never named a death tax. If common misconceptions die slowly, how long does it take a derogatory nickname to die?