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First step toward permanent estate tax

The House this afternoon approved, by a 225-to-220 vote, a measure to keep the current estate tax law in place permanently. That's a 45 percent tax on estates in excess of $3.5 million per individual ($7 million for married couples).

Of course, Congress doesn't always operate under the same definitional boundaries as the rest of us. Witness how it describes a "first-time" home buyer.

So when someone on Capitol Hill says that something is permanent, that pronouncement is likely to prompt at least a smirk from legislative veterans.

Still, today's vote was a step in that direction. But, as I noted in yesterday's post The estate tax, a Dickens of a law, any further progress toward a long-term estate tax, at least right now, could be halted by the Senate.

Any bill passed by that body must be reconciled with the just-passed House measure and then that voted on before it can be signed into law by the President.

There's less estate tax consensus on the Senate side of Capitol Hill.

Plus, since the Senate doesn't plan to take up the measure for a few more weeks, interested groups and lobbyists will have more time to jawbone lawmakers about what they want or don't want in the estate tax.

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IRS Tax Attorney

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Thanks for keeping us abreast of tax law changes. I will be keeping my eyes on what the Senate does next week with the proposed permanent estate tax.

Tax Help

Its a good move towards permanent estate tax. It will increase the revenue to a great extend without affecting common people.


Good point about the married couple exemption amount. So good, in fact, it has prompted me to work on a separate post about that. Thanks for making extra work for me! ;-)


I suspect you'll get at least part of your wish in that the Senate will produce a different bill.



I noticed that you (and the WSJ) put $7mil for Married Couples, but that isn't that a little misleading?

It is $3.5 per person if taken advantage of...so those married couples that have a simple, I Love You, type of Will will not get their $7mil.

Just a thought


This vote did one thing and one thing only- it threw small business owners, farmers, and ranchers under the bus. The estate tax destroys jobs, it destroys businesses, and right now it is the last thing our struggling economy needs. See what I mean at: http://estatetaxtruth.org/videos/
Lets hope the Senate is a little bit more intelligent than the House.

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