Jan 03, 2010

The Estate Tax is Dead; Long Live the Estate Tax

In a twist of Congressional inaction that no one honestly thought possible, Congress, by failing to act, has allowed the estate tax to be fully repealed in 2010. But, and get this, only for one year!

In 2011, unless Congress acts, the estate tax is scheduled to come back at levels not seen since 2001 (the tax would fall on any estate worth more than 1 million dollars and at rates ranging from 37% to 55%). The current law, passed in 2001, expires in 2011, so the tax comes back at 2001 levels, with an adjustment for inflation.

If that's not odd enough, most congressional watchers predict that Congress will actually pass a law re-instating the tax that will be retroactive to January 1, 2010 (so, as a matter of reality, there will be no actual repeal whatsoever!)

Which is to say that no one really knows what will happen over the next few months. But certainly, something will. I'll keep you posted.

For more, see this article in the Wall Street Journal, which offers a nice summary of the current state of affairs.