Now that the new year is upon us there is some news of importance regarding United States tax laws, and the new Commission on Long-Term Care. The Fiscal Cliff was avoided by the American Taxpayer Relief Act which was signed on January 2, 2013 by President Obama. As part of this act the amount that is exempted from estate taxes will remain the same. The estate tax is now set permanently at $5 million for an individual and $10 million for couples. This law is indexed for inflation each year and with the new adjustments there is an estimated increase in exemptions to about $5.2 million and $10.24 million. The one change that was made is that the maximum tax rate on inheritances will increase from 35% to 40% for estates over $5 million.
As of January 1, 2013, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act was officially repealed. This act would have established a voluntary national long-term care insurance program. Employees who wished to take part would have payed into this program in order to receive the benefit later on if they required long-term care. Instead Congress established a Commission on Long-Term Care. This Commission will consist of 15 members appointed by the President and congressional leaders. Their job will be to recommend legislation while representing the interests of the elderly, consumers of long-term care services, family caregivers, private long-term care insurance providers and employers. The Commission will begin its duties in about six months. We will do our best to keep you posted on any new developments.