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S.F. No. 1055 - Allowing Estate Portability Between Spouses (as proposed by the A-1 amendment)
Author: Senator Rod Skoe
Prepared By: Nora Pollock, Senate Counsel (651/297-8066)
Date: March 16, 2015


This bill provides for portability between spouses of the Minnesota estate tax exclusion amount, effective for decedents dying after December 31, 2015.   




Allows the commissioner of revenue to examine, regardless of the statute of limitations, the estate tax return of a deceased spouse in order to carry out the surviving spouse’s claim of the unused deceased spouse’s exclusion amount authorized under sections 3 and 4.


Provides that the unused deceased spousal exclusion, or “zero bracket” amount may be subtracted from the federal taxable estate for purposes of the Minnesota taxable estate.  The zero bracket amount is the amount to which a tax rate of zero applies and is thus the amount excluded from the estate tax.


Allows the unused deceased spousal exclusion amount to be ported to the surviving spouse for purposes of determining estate tax liability.  The amount allowed for the surviving spouse is the difference between the maximum allowable subtraction under current law for the year in which the last deceased spouse died and the actual subtraction allowed to the last deceased spouse’s estate. 

The portability option is allowed only if the surviving spouse is an heir or beneficiary of the estate; the estate qualifies for and elects the subtraction of at least $100,000 on a timely filed return; the estate is allowed a subtraction less than the maximum allowable subtraction as described above for the year in which the deceases spouse died and this subtraction reduces the taxable estate to zero; and the estate irrevocably elected a timely filed return to provide a deceased spousal unused subtraction amount.

4 Defines the deceased spousal unused zero bracket amount, which equals the excess of the maximum amount to which a zero tax rate applies for the calendar year of the death of the last deceased spouse, and the amount of the Minnesota taxable estate of the last deceased spouse.  Requires that a deceased spousal unused zero bracket is not allowed to the estate of a surviving spouse unless the executor of the estate of the deceased spouse timely filed a return stating the exclusion amount claimed and elected on the return.


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