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Taxes for Zombies?

Bridge Team Member

The New York Times discusses a recent law review article that posits the tax implications of zombies, throwing an already complicated set of estate tax laws into even greater distress:

Under a rule of 'merely undead not really most sincerely dead,' a wealthy person could delay paying the estate tax upon his passing into the zombie realm; those taxes would have to be paid only after a more decisive event, like having his head blown off with a shotgun.

Avoidance of the death tax for the undead? But it's not all good news (in addition to being transformed into a mindless, flesh-eating walking corpse):

But there are some tax downsides to zombiedom. When you actually die "for clarity, let's call this die-die" the appreciation in the value of your assets is wiped out for tax purposes. Say a vintage car you bought for $50,000 is worth $100,000 when you die-die. Under I.R.S. rules, this doesn't cost your heirs taxes on the $50,000 gain when they sell it. Instead, the car is valued at $100,000.

Did you follow all that? I didn't.

I sense a burgeoning potential industry for lawyers to modify last wills in anticipation of the coming zombie storm.

Read the full original article in the Iowa Law Review here.

(Photo of spooky Legos by Dirk Loop via Flickr)


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