|SEMA is urging lawmakers to make permanent changes that will limit the government's take on estate taxes.|
SEMA joined with a number of other associations in forming the “Permanent Estate Tax Relief Now Coalition." The Coalition is urging Congress to pass legislation which makes permanent the current exemption rate of $3.5 million/individual ($7 million/couple). Monies beyond that amount are taxed at 45 percent.
Under President Bush’s tax cut of 2001, the so-called “death tax” is being gradually phased-out by 2010. It will reappear under its previous 55% tax rate on anything above $1 million in 2011, however, unless lawmakers change the law.
Although the topic has been debated for years, lawmakers have yet to find a permanent solution. There is a chance that the taxes could remain at the highest levels after 2011 given the growing federal deficit. The Coalition believes the current rates would allow small-business owners to maintain family-run businesses without being forced to sell the company to pay estate taxes. Additionally, it would provide certainty when making estate tax planning decisions.