Death Tax: Preferring a Compromise and Permanence

By October 1, 2009General, Taxation

The National Association of Manufacturers was one of 46 trade associations, members of the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition, to send a letter to Congress last week calling for legislative action to prevent the estate tax from returning to its most expensive, business-damaging form in 2011. As the letter explains:

The uncertain nature of the estate tax regime over the next two years is a cause for major concern for family businesses, many of which are struggling to ensure that the business survives into the next generation. The estate tax is scheduled to be repealed after 2010 and return to its onerous, pre-2001 levels in 2011. Family businesses cannot afford mixed messages from Congress on this critical issue, and a mere one-year extension of existing law will only add to the planning burdens on businesses that are already facing difficult economic times.

The FBETC urges Congress to recognize that permanency and certainty are the required components of any estate tax relief legislation.

The coalition endorses the Lincoln/Kyl amendment that passed the Senate during budget deliberations: It would reduce the top rate to 35 percent increases the exemption to $5 million.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the letter, “US Business Groups Push For Estate Tax Compromise,” citing the NAM’s involvement in the effort:

If we can get a 35% rate for our members, of course we will,” said Dena Battle, Director of Tax Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. She noted that the business coalition has voiced support for the Kyl-Lincoln compromise in the past.

While NAM still would prefer a full repeal of the tax, “we have to look at the reality of the fact that Congress is not likely to allow the tax to be repealed,” said Battle.

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