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Biden Tax Rule Would Rip Billions From Big Fortunes at Death (1)

May 4, 2021, 9:11 PM

Jeff Bezos has an ex-wife, a girlfriend, four children and billions of reasons to watch whether Joe Biden’s tax overhaul wins congressional approval.

The Amazon.com Inc. founder’s heirs may have to pay more than $36 billion if the president succeeds in closing a loophole that helps the rich transfer much of their fortunes tax-free at death.

Jeff Bezos
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Under current rules, whoever inherits the Amazon shares Bezos bought in 1994 for $10,000, worth $180 billion today, will receive a so-called step-up in basis, wiping out any capital gains tax liability. Biden’s plan would close that loophole and apply the top ...