There are currently three main bills in Congress dealing with estate tax reform.
One bill is S. 722, introduced in the Senate in March by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
The bill is a middle class tax reform package that includes an estate tax proposal that would freeze the exclusion and rate at 2009 levels, reunify the estate and gift tax credit, allow for portability, and index it for inflation. The bill’s co-sponsors are Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V.
In the House, H.R. 2032, sponsored by Rep. McDermott, D-Wash., would make permanent the exemption level at $2 million, index that level for inflation, and establish progressive tax rates of 45% for estates valued between $2 and $5 million; 50% for estates valued at $5 to $10 million; and 55% for estates valued over $10 million.
This bill also includes reunification, portability, the state estate tax credit, and indexing for inflation.
Another House bill is H.R. 436, introduced by Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.
It would freeze the exclusion and rate at 2009 levels and reunify the estate and gift tax credit. The bill would, however, limit the valuation discount for family limited partnerships, and set forth valuation rules for transfer of non-business assets.