There is an increasing likelihood that the estate tax will expire at the end of this year because of congressional inaction–only to be reinstated retroactively at 2009 levels for an interim period early next year, according to an Association for Advanced Life Underwriting official.
Sarah Spear, AALU director of policy and public affairs, says the potential for the estate tax being in limbo for a short period is based on the fact that the House was due to recess Dec.18 , and the Senate is focused on passing healthcare reform legislation before it leaves for the Christmas recess.
Spear says one of the last vehicles for acting on the estate tax is the defense appropriations bill, which could include either a one- or two-year “patch” at 2009 levels.
But this will not include the insurance industry’s priorities, which are adding reunification, portability and indexing for inflation to any permanent estate tax legislation, Spear says.
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The House was scheduled to take up the appropriations bill before adjourning, and send it to the Senate, which will have to act before the House leaves to fund this portion of the government, she says. But, there is no certainty as to whether this will happen, she adds.