NB: This article was published on August 2, 2010 and contains information that may be outdated. For current information regarding the estate tax, read: Estate Tax Certainty…For Now.
Time is running out. If Congress does not pass new estate tax legislation this year, estates valued at over $1 million will be subject to taxes of up to 55 percent starting on January 1, 2011, which means that many more Americans be affected by the estate tax.
When the year began, many estate planning attorneys were optimistic that Congress would act quickly to reinstate last year’s exemption amount and tax rate. But with more than half the year gone, confidence is waning. According to Julie Garber’s Estate Tax Straw Poll – The Results Are In, more than two thirds of the attorneys, trust officers and accountants she polled believed that Congress would do nothing this year.
Many others share their views. Hani Sarji has collected the predictions of many professionals about what Congress will do about the estate tax in his blog post, Forecasting the Future of the Estate Tax, which he has been updating. The consensus is that Congress will not act.
I’m still hopeful, but I’m not holding my breath.