Future of the estate tax

It’s anybody’s guess how Congress will deal with the Dec. 31 expiration of the estate tax, but it’s certain
that lawmakers won’t please everyone.

The tax, 45 percent on estates worth more than $3.5 million ($7 million
for couples), ends in 2010 only to be scheduled for a comeback in 2011 at a significantly steeper rate—60 percent on
$1 million or more.

As IBJ reporter Peter Schnitzler wrote recently, a 60-percent tax would severely cripple
many entrepreneurs’ plans to pass along their hard-earned work to heirs.

Most observers
expected Congress to update the Bush-era elimination of estate taxes before the deadline, but lawmakers
instead kicked the can ahead. Now it’s virtually impossible for people to plan.

What do
you think Congress should do? And what do you think about estate taxes in general?

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