The latest hit to the U.S. Treasury because there's no federal estate tax comes with the death yesterday of the New York Yankees' owner.
From a tax perspective, George Steinbrenner's passing was impeccable. Or, as the Associated Press put it:
"By dying in 2010, the billionaire and long-time New York Yankees owner's wealth
avoids the federal estate tax, likely saving his heirs enough money to field an
entire team of Alex Rodriguezes."
With an estimated value of $1.1 billion, the Steinbrenner estate would have faced, depending on how the estate was
taxes of almost $500 million if The Boss had passed away last year, says the AP.
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), a former Major League Baseball pitcher, also noted the tax implications of Steinbrenner's death during today's hearing on the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
Bunning pointed out that if the Yankees owner had lived into 2011, his estate would have faced $600 million in estate taxes under the terms of the law's impending resurrection.
But now, even if Steinbrenner's heirs immediately sell assets and pay capital gains taxes, the best that the Treasury could hope for, according to AP calculations, would be a $165 million tax bill.
The death of the estate tax, therefore, means a tax break of about $328 million this year.
A-Rod's 2010 salary, notes the wire service, is $32 million.
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