26 U.S. Code § 2010 - Unified credit against estate tax
A credit of the applicable credit amount shall be allowed to the estate of every decedent against the tax imposed by section 2001.
The amount of the credit allowable under subsection (a) shall be reduced by an amount equal to 20 percent of the aggregate amount allowed as a specific exemption under section 2521 (as in effect before its repeal by the Tax Reform Act of 1976) with respect to gifts made by the decedent after September 8, 1976.
For purposes of this section, the applicable credit amount is the amount of the tentative tax which would be determined under section 2001(c) if the amount with respect to which such tentative tax is to be computed were equal to the applicable exclusion amount.
A deceased spousal unused exclusion amount may not be taken into account by a surviving spouse under paragraph (2) unless the executor of the estate of the deceased spouse files an estate tax return on which such amount is computed and makes an election on such return that such amount may be so taken into account. Such election, once made, shall be irrevocable. No election may be made under this subparagraph if such return is filed after the time prescribed by law (including extensions) for filing such return.
Notwithstanding any period of limitation in section 6501, after the time has expired under section 6501 within which a tax may be assessed under chapter 11 or 12 with respect to a deceased spousal unused exclusion amount, the Secretary may examine a return of the deceased spouse to make determinations with respect to such amount for purposes of carrying out this subsection.
The amount of the credit allowed by subsection (a) shall not exceed the amount of the tax imposed by section 2001.
For inflation adjustment of certain items in this section, see Revenue Procedures listed in a table under section 1 of this title.
2013—Subsec. (c)(4)(B)(i). Pub. L. 112–240 substituted “applicable exclusion amount” for “basic exclusion amount”.
2010—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 111–312, § 302(a)(1), amended subsec. (c) generally, substituting pars. (1) and (2) for text which provided that the applicable credit amount for purposes of this section was the amount of the tentative tax which would be determined under the rate schedule set forth in section 2001(c) if the amount with respect to which such tentative tax was to be computed were the applicable exclusion amount determined in accordance with the table, covering years 2002 to 2009, included in that text.
Subsec. (c)(2) to (6). Pub. L. 111–312, § 303(a), added pars. (2) to (6) and struck out former par. (2). Prior to amendment, text of par. (2) read as follows:
“(A) In general.—For purposes of this subsection, the applicable exclusion amount is $5,000,000.
“(B) Inflation adjustment.—In the case of any decedent dying in a calendar year after 2011, the dollar amount in subparagraph (A) shall be increased by an amount equal to—
“(i) such dollar amount, multiplied by
“(ii) the cost-of-living adjustment determined under section 1(f)(3) for such calendar year by substituting ‘calendar year 2010’ for ‘calendar year 1992’ in subparagraph (B) thereof.
If any amount as adjusted under the preceding sentence is not a multiple of $10,000, such amount shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $10,000.”
2001—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–16, in table, substituted provision that in the case of estates of decedents dying during the years 2002 and 2003, the years 2004 and 2005, the years 2006, 2007, and 2008, and the year 2009, the applicable exclusion amount is $1,000,000, $1,500,000, $2,000,000, and $3,500,000, respectively, for provision that in the case of decedents dying, and gifts made, during the year 1998, the year 1999, the years 2000 and 2001, the years 2002 and 2003, the year 2004, the year 2005, and the year 2006 or thereafter, the applicable exclusion amount is $625,000, $650,000, $675,000, $700,000, $850,000, $950,000, and $1,000,000, respectively.
1997—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–34, § 501(a)(1)(A), substituted “the applicable credit amount” for “$192,800”.
Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 105–34, § 501(a)(1)(B), added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).
1990—Subsecs. (b) to (d). Pub. L. 101–508 redesignated subsecs. (c) and (d) as (b) and (c), respectively, and struck out former subsec. (b) which provided for a phase-in of the unified credit against estate tax.
1981—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–34, § 401(a)(1), substituted “$192,800” for “$47,000”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–34, § 401(a)(2)(A), struck out “$47,000” before “credit” from heading and in text substituted in subsec. (a) substitutions for “$192,800” amounts of “$62,800”, “$79,300”, “$96,300”, “$121,800”, and “$155,800” in the case of decedents dying in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1986, respectively, for subsec. (a) substitutions for “$47,000” amounts of “$30,000”, “$34,000”, “$38,000”, and “$42,500” in the case of decedents dying in 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980, respectively.
Amendment by Pub. L. 112–240 effective as if included in the amendments made by section 303 of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Pub. L. 111–312, see section 101(c)(3)(B) of Pub. L. 112–240, set out as a note under section 2001 of this title.
Amendment by section 302(a)(1) of Pub. L. 111–312 applicable to estates of decedents dying, generation-skipping transfers, and gifts made, after Dec. 31, 2009, see section 302(f) of Pub. L. 111–312, set out as a note under section 2001 of this title.
For provisions that nothing in amendment by Pub. L. 101–508 be construed to affect treatment of certain transactions occurring, property acquired, or items of income, loss, deduction, or credit taken into account prior to Nov. 5, 1990, for purposes of determining liability for tax for periods ending after Nov. 5, 1990, see section 11821(b) of Pub. L. 101–508, set out as a note under section 45K of this title.