Monday, April 13, 2009

Estate Tax vs. the Death Tax

Regardless of which camp you place yourself in on the issue of estate taxes / death taxes, the topic is getting more press in recent weeks. President Obama has proposed freezing the tax at its current exemption level ($3.5 million for individuals, and $7 million for married couples). But now members of the Democratic party are joining forces with Republicans to set the exemption even higher, $5 million for individuals and $10 for married couples.

But now some Democrats have joined Republicans to call for setting the threshold even higher, in a rebellion that could have important consequences not just for the future of the death tax but also for Mr. Obama’s efforts to pay for his ambitious policy agenda.
The NY Times ran a nice article addressing both sides, and offering some good examples about the real number of individuals/farms/businesses that would likely be impacted by the tax. It seems everyone has an opinion on this issue, but a very tiny fraction of Americans would actually have an estate subject to the tax.

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