Schoolchildren aren’t the only ones putting their noses back to the grindstone after this warm summer and long Labor Day weekend; Congress is also returning to work, and among the many issues they will be discussing is that of the estate tax, which is set to expire for a year in 2010.
According to The Wall Street Journal President Obama was expected to take swift action when he took office to prevent the scheduled estate tax repeal, locking it in at a permanent rate instead. One of the reasons for this anticipated “swift action” by democrats was that it would be “politically harder to go ahead with their plan to resurrect the estate tax once it [had] disappeared.”
Although action has not been as swift as originally anticipated, it is not likely to disappear. Some ruling on the estate tax is still expected before the end of the year, although it may not be as permanent as people may hope for planning purposes. Here is what Forbes.com has to say about the immediate future of the estate tax:
“President Obama wants to see a permanent extension of the estate tax, but that's unlikely to happen this year. Instead, look for Congress to give it a one-year extension, as it's slated to expire for a year in 2010. For 2009, estates valued at less than $3.5 million are exempted from the tax, which has a maximum rate of 45%.”
If you’ve been putting off planning until a permanent decision on the estate tax is reached, it may be time to bite the bullet and take action now.