One aspect of the president's new tax plan unveiled Wednesday — a joint product of the Trump administration and Republican leadership — calls for killing what Republicans refer to as the "death tax."
Under current rules, a taxpayer can pass up to $5.49 million to heirs tax-free. For married couples it's nearly $11 million. Above that amount, beneficiaries must pay a federal estate tax of 40 percent. (Currently, there are also 15 states and the District of Columbia that assess an estate tax, according to the Tax Foundation.)
Because of the sky-high threshold, only the wealthiest Americans now pay the federal levy. The Tax Policy Center estimated there were about 11,310 estate returns filed and about half of those were taxable. Still, the amount of tax collected on just those returns was just under $20 billion, the Tax Policy Center said.