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Data Shows Few Farm Estates Must File Estate Tax Return

New data from USDA’s Economic Research Service shows that less than one percent of farm estates created in 2022 must file an estate tax return. Created in 1916, the federal estate tax is a tax on the transfer of property to a person’s heirs upon death. In 2022, the Federal estate tax exemption amount was $12.06 million per person, and the federal estate tax rate was 40 percent.

Under the present law, the estate of a person who owns assets above the exemption amount at death must file a federal estate tax return. However, only returns with an estate above the exemption after deductions for expenses, debts, and bequests will pay federal estate tax. Researchers estimate that in 2022, 39,500 estates were created from principal operator deaths. Of those estates, ERS forecasts that 305, or 0.77 percent, will be required to file an estate tax return, and a further 87, or 0.22 percent, will likely owe Federal estate tax.

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