Estate tax: Not dead yet | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 18, 2009

Estate tax: Not dead yet

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 6:37 AM

The New York Times today examines further whether Congress will act to retroactively revive the estate tax in 2010, when it currently will expire.

A wrinkle noted today is important and a possible contributing factor to a 2010 fix.

When they scheduled the demise of the estate tax for 2009, the authors of the 2001 tax measure replaced it with a capital gains tax of 15 percent on inherited property that is later sold.

The threshold for being subject to those taxes is set lower, with the first $1.3 million in capital gains exempted for general heirs and $3 million for spouses. Democrats argue that thousands of estates that would not have been subject to taxes under the current law could get hit in 2010 even as those at the higher end of inheritance scale escape the 45 percent tax bite.

“If you are rich, celebrate,” said Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada and the majority leader. “If you are not, you should be afraid.”

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