Senate Pass Estate Tax Relief

12/15/2010

Today, December 15, 2010, the Senate passed the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Authorization and Job Creation Act of 2010” by a margin of 81-19. Under the legislation, the estate tax is reinstated for two years at 35% with a $5 million exemption for individuals ($10 million for couples); the estate and gift tax lifetime credits are reunified, portability of unused credit for the surviving spouse is permitted; the exemptions are indexed beginning January 1, 2012; and taxpayers are given a choice between paying estate taxes in 2010 under this regime or paying no estate taxes in 2010 and valuing assets under modified carryover basis rules. 

It still needs to pass the House of Representatives, but the bill appears to be gaining momentum.

Stay tuned.