Patt Morrison for December 1, 2009

Estate tax - benefit or beast?

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Estate tax - benefit or beast?

Under current law, if an inheritance of $3.5 million or more from a parent comes your way in 2010, you would not owe any estate tax on the windfall - none. But in 2011, that same inheritance would cost you 55% in estate taxes on any amount over $1 million. This all could change, however, as Congress takes up legislation this week to even out the effects of a convoluted law.


Joel Slemrod, professor in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, he is a member of the Congressional Budget Office Panel of Economic Advisers. He is co-author of "Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen's Guide to the Great Debate over Tax Reform" and editor of "Does Atlas Shrug? The Economic Consequences of Taxing the Rich."

Congressman Devin Nunes, Republican from 21st district. He is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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