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Watching the Sunset: Planning for the 2026 Tax Law Sunset

By: Alina Pargamanik, J.D.


Several provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 are set to sunset, or expire, at the end of 2025. Without the proper planning, you may face some shocking tax consequences.


The TCJA set forth sweeping tax changes for businesses and individuals, particularly high-net-worth individuals, through permanent tax cuts to corporate profits and lower individual tax rates with a restructured tax bracket. The TCJA reduced the top business tax rate from 35% to 21% permanently, so businesses will not experience much of an impact in 2026. Nevertheless, the top individual, estate and trust income tax bracket would increase back to 39.6% from the current 37% rate.


For itemized deductions, according to the Tax Policy Center, “Under [the TCJA,] itemizers could claim deductions for all state and local property taxes and the greater of income or sales taxes (subject to overall limits on itemized deductions).” This policy is set to change upon the sunset of the TCJA. Although the TCJA repealed personal exemptions, the standard deduction almost doubled under the TCJA from approximately $13,000 to $24,000, but this amount is set to revert back in 2026. The TCJA also restricted itemized deduction for total state and local taxes to $10,000 per year. This cap will be eliminated after 2025.


Additionally, the TCJA doubled the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption from $5.5 million to $11.2 million. In 2026, the estate and gift exemption will revert back to pre-TCJA levels and is expected to be about $6.5 million per individual or $14 million for a married couple. When planning for the TCJA sunset, you should discuss various estate planning options such as annual gifting and Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLATs) with your estate planning attorney.


Unless a significant legislative change occurs between now and 2026, taxpayers should stay vigilant of the upcoming 2026 tax law sunset. Having a plan for your financial affairs is the key to financial success. It is important to speak with your estate attorney and financial advisor to ensure that your tax and estate planning needs are in order.


If you would like to get more information on the 2026 tax law sunset and speak to an attorney about your estate planning needs, please contact Batoff Associates, P.A. at 410-864-6211.

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