WASHINGTON–There is an increasing likelihood that the estate tax will expire at the end of the year because of congressional inaction–only to be reinstated retroactively at 2009 levels for an interim period early next year, according to an industry group.
The House Christmas recess scheduled to start Friday and the Senate’s focus on passing healthcare reform legislation before it leaves for the recess create the potential for the estate tax being in limbo for a short period, according to Sarah Spear, director of policy and public affairs for the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting.
The only potential vehicle for dealing with the tax would be the Defense appropriations bill, Spear said late Monday.
That bill might include a provision for either a 1 or 2 year “patch” keeping the tax at 2009 levels.
But this approach would not include the insurance industry’s priorities, which are to add reunification, portability and indexing for inflation to any permanent estate tax legislation, Spear said.
The House was scheduled to take up the appropriations bill before adjourning Dec. 18 and send it to the Senate, which would have to act before the House leaves. But there is no certainty this will happen, she said.