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The following was written about a year ago by a participant to another board, so I thought I'd bring it up on the appropriate board:

“A person who is not a US citizen or resident who owns US-issued stock held at a US brokerage is subject to full US estate tax when he/she croaks--something like 55% on US stock and US mutual funds above $60,000, since the new larger exemptions for US citizens don't apply. (But, no estate tax on bonds for some reason). As far as I know, all other countries tax estates based solely on domicile, or sometimes citizenship. 55% is quite a big leap from zero….”

So the questions to anyone familiar with the US tax code, are:
1. According to the poster, bonds are exempted; are bond funds exempted as wel?
2. Is this estate tax law still valid? Is there talk about perhaps being repealed in the future?
3. Aren't there any exemptions, perhaps any tax treaties between various countries and the US that would stipulate that the estate tax wouldn't apply? (I'm particularly interested in treaties with any France, Israel, New Zealand, Romania).
4. What if a family of non-US citizens and non-residents hold a joint (“joint with survivorship”) account at a US brokerage with US stocks and funds in excess of $60k, and one of them dies? Is this estate tax still due?


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