Treasury Official Hints at Possible Estate Tax Fix

The following was released earlier today by CPA/national tax expert Robert Keebler:

Obama administration officials are considering a proposal to allow taxpayers to elect to apply 2009 rules to their 2010 estate tax bills, a Treasury Department official said in an interview that aired September 12.

Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Michael Mundaca said in a C-SPAN interview that the Obama administration would like to make permanent the 2009 iteration of the now-expired estate tax. The estate tax was allowed to lapse for 2010, and Congress has not agreed on a fix. Allowing taxpayers to retroactively apply the 2009 rates to their 2010 taxes is one possibility being considered, Mundaca said. 

The option could prove appealing to taxpayers who have inherited estates worth less than the $3.5 million estate tax exemption for 2009 but more than $1.3 million. The current law repeals the estate tax entirely but allows a basis step-up for only $1.3 million of the estate’s assets, not for the entirety of the estate as under the 2009 law.  Thus, heirs of decedents dying in 2010 may exempt only $1.3 million of capital gains when they dispose of the property and must calculate capital gains tax using the decedent’s basis in the property.

Stay tuned for more, we are running short on time for Congress to act.

Glenn R. Matecun | Michigan Estate Planning Attorney

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