Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lame Duck Congress and the Estate Tax

With the election behind us, the current "lame duck" Congress has the opportunity to move on unresolved tax issues, specifically, the federal estate tax. As the law currently stands, the tax will return (there is no federal estate tax in 2010) January 1, 2011, and will apply to estates over $1 million. Here is a NY Times article that does a nice job of summarizing the three options Congress could take on the estate tax:

Consider three courses that Congress might take:

  1. Do nothing and go back to the 2001 exemption and rates.
  2. Make the 2009 rates and exemption permanent, an approach that the Obama administration favors.
  3. Make the 2010 rules permanent, thereby eliminating the estate tax, as the Republican leadership would like to do.

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