NEW ALLOWABLE INCOME LIMIT and MONTHLY PENALTY DIVISOR
Rhode Island Department of Human Services – Medicaid Long Term Support Services – has advised that The Allowable Income Limit for 2022 through 3/31/2023 is $9.961 per month. Effective August 1, 2023 the new allowable income limit will be increased to $10,190.00 per month.
This figure is also used as the Penalty Period Divisor for calculating disqualifying transfers of assets. Meaning, for every $10,190 of assets transferred away where something of value was not received in return, will cause a disqualification of one (1) month of LTSS Medicaid benefits for the Applicant for those benefits.
The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2021-45 which announces the increase in 2022 of the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax applicable exclusion amounts from $11.7 million to $12.06 million. The applicable exclusion amounts currently remain scheduled to expire on December 31, 2025, which would result in a reduction in the exclusion amounts to $5 million (adjusted for inflation). However, there is always a possibility that new law will be passed that could adjust these exclusion amounts sooner.
Federal Gift Tax Exclusion for 2022
In addition, in 2022, the gift tax annual exclusion amount for gifts to any person (other than gifts of future interests to trusts) will increase to $16,000, while the gift tax annual exclusion amount for gifts to a non-citizen spouse will increase to $164,000.
Because of an inflation adjustment prescribed by statute, the Rhode Island estate tax credit amount will be $74,300 for decedents dying on or after January 1, 2022, up from the current credit amount of $70,490 (which applies for decedents dying in calendar year 2021).
As a result, the Rhode Island estate tax threshold will be $1,648,611 for decedents dying on or after January 1, 2022, up from the current threshold of $1,595,156 (which applies for decedents dying in calendar year 2021).
Thus, in general, for a decedent dying in 2022, a net taxable estate valued at $1,648,611 or less will not be subject to Rhode Island’s estate tax. Due to the inflation adjustment, fewer estates will be
subject to Rhode Island’s estate tax in 2022. (In certain circumstances, the Rhode Island estate tax will not apply regardless of the estate’s size: Rhode Island General Laws Chapter 44-22 provides full details on the computation of the tax, including such factors as the marital and charitable deductions.)
◼ ESTATE TAX – NEW FORM
A new Rhode Island estate tax form will be used starting January 1, 2022. It’s Form RI706. Form RI-706 will replace Form RI-100A and Form RI-100 for all Rhode Island estate
Until January 1, 2022, there are two main estate tax forms: Form RI-100 (typically used for estates that are not over the applicable estate tax threshold) or Form RI-100A (typically used for estates that are over the applicable estate tax threshold).
Effective January 1, 2022, Form RI-706 becomes the main estate tax form, essentially combining Form RI-100 and Form RI-100A into one unit. Each estate valued at more
than $1.3 million must complete the entire Form RI-706. Each estate valued at below $1.3 million are only required to complete portions of pages 1 through 4 of the form.
▪ On and after January 1, 2022, use Form RI-706 for all estates with a date of death on or after January 1, 2015.
▪ Before January 1, 2022, use Form RI-100A or Form RI-100 (whichever applies) for estates with a date of death on or after January 1, 2015.
▪ The $50 filing fee still applies for each estate return filed on or after January 1, 2022, including those returns filed for estate tax lien release.
▪ All other estate tax forms (including the extension form, lien release form, and payment voucher) remain the same.
Many people plan to continue to live in their home as long as they are able to do so. If they eventually ever have to go to a nursing home, your house and its contents would NOT have to be sold in order to qualify for Medicaid. However, it is still at risk because the state has a right to recover whatever it pays for your care from your probate estate. Your home may be protected from such estate recovery by keeping it out of your probate estate.
The simplest approach to doing so would be to deed it to your children. There are four problems with doing this:
You lose control over your house. Your children now are the tile owners of the home and as such it would be subject to and vulnerable to your children’s debts or if they were sued or divorced.
This would be a transfer which would make you ineligible for Medicaid for the following 60 months.
Your children would lose the opportunity of getting a “step-up” in basis by receiving the property through your estate. Your children would be subject to potential capital gains taxes that could be avoided.
Selling the home later can become problematic. Many clients expect at some point to need to sell their home and possibly downsize. By transferring the home to your children you have added complexity with title issues and taxation issues with any sale.
So how do you keep the house out of your probate estate so that the state has no access to place a lien on it? How do you ensure your heirs get a stepped-up basis in the house? How should you own the house that allows for a ease of downsizing? There is one SOLUTION: using the Irrevocable Income Only Grantor Trust.
This trust allows you to keep the property out of your children’s hands, allows them to received a step-up in basis, allows you the freedom of selling the property without a hassle, avoids estate recovery and five years after the transfer is completely protected for Medicaid.
Want to lean more? Contact our office for a free consultation.
56 Exchange Terrace
Providence, RI 02903
36 South County Commons Way
Building 4, Suite C-3
South Kingstown, RI 02879
About Mathew J. Leonard ESQ.
Matthew J. Leonard's practice is concentrated in business law, estate and asset protection planning, elder care, civil and probate litigation and real estate. He is a member of the Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Florida bars. He is a frequent lecturer and has authored and spoken on in many occasions through the state.