A Federal Wealth Tax Was Introduced in the Senate. Here's What Affluent Families Need to Know
Several U.S. senators have proposed new legislation to raise $3 trillion in tax revenue over the next decade. Called the Ultra-Millionaire Tax, the proposed legislation comes in response to the economic turmoil Americans have experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Elizabeth Warren described the necessity for such revenue, saying, “As Congress develops additional plans to help our economy, the wealth tax should be at the top of the list to help pay for these plans because of the huge amounts of revenue it would generate.”
The majority of Americans would not see a direct impact from this proposed wealth tax. But for those it would affect, this could greatly increase their tax obligation in the future. If you’re concerned, here’s what you should know about this potential change.
What Is Proposed?
Several senators proposed the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act on March 1, 2021. This tax legislation would impact 100,000 households, or those considered to be in America’s top 0.05 percent. More specifically, the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act is a tax that would affect those with a net worth of $50 million or more.
Affected ultra-high-net-worth families would be taxed as follows:
- A two percent annual tax for those with a net worth of $50 million to $1 billion.
- A three percent annual tax (two percent plus one percent surtax) for those with a net worth of $1 billion or more.
What Is a Wealth Tax?
Individual income taxes are based on how much was made during the previous year in taxable income (such as a salary, retirement account withdrawals, interest, etc.).
On the other hand, wealth tax is an annual tax applied toward an individual’s actual net worth - as opposed to the income earned over that year.
Do Wealth Taxes Currently Exist?
Several states have proposed wealth taxes in the past. In 2020, California introduced a wealth tax for residents (and former eligible residents) with a net worth of $30 million or more. The proposed legislation, however, has not moved forward.
Several states currently have a “millionaire tax” based on an individual or family's taxable yearly income.
What Should Ultra-High-Net-Worth Families Do to Prepare?
Learning that you may face an additional tax burden never feels good. But the reality is, there’s no guarantee of when, or if, this proposed legislation will pass into law. Those concerned about the potential tax obligations should work with their financial planner or tax professional. Familiarize yourself with the details of the proposed wealth tax, as well as any anti-evasion and avoidance measures proposed as well.
Preparing yourself and your finances ahead of time may help ease potential tax burdens - or help you determine how you may be able to lower your tax obligation. Discuss your concerns with your trusted financial professional as you continue to monitor this proposed legislation.
Erickson Braund is the Founder and Chief Financial Officer at Black Walnut Wealth Management. He is a Certified Financial Planner®️ professional and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor®️. Eric brings over 20 years of experience working with high net-worth individuals and families, helping them achieve their goals of protecting and growing their wealth for retirement and for generations to come. Because Eric is a CFP®️ professional, he adheres to high ethical standards and engages in at least 30 hours of approved continuing education in the financial industry each year.
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