As the Estate Tax Turns


On July 15, 2010, H.R. 5764 was introduced in the House of Representives.  This bill, titled the "Responsible Estate Tax Act," calls for the following:

  • Reinstating the federal estate tax retroactively to January 1, 2010, with a $3.5 million estate tax exemption and initial 45% estate tax rate (the exemption and tax rate that were in effect in 2009).
  • For estates valued above $10 million and below $50 million, a 50% estate tax rate.
  • For estates valued above $50 million, a 55% estate tax rate.
  • For estates valued above $500 million, a 10% surtax.
  • Requiring a 10-year minimum term for grantor retained annuity trusts.
  • Requiring consistent valuations and modifying the rules governing valuation discounts for estate tax purposes.
  • Easing the estate tax burden on family farms by allowing an additional $3 million exclusion.

You have to love the title of this bill - the "Responsible Estate Tax Act."  Does this mean that all of the other estate tax bills and proposals floating around Washington are not "responsible" by comparison? 

On its face, H.R. 5764 is very similiar to Senate Bill 3533.  It seems estate tax proposals keep coming and going, but nothing gets passed into law.  I hope there is not too many cooks in the kitchen and something can get done.  If not, come 2011, we go back to a $1 million estate tax exempton.

Stay tuned for more of "As the Estate Tax Turns."