WASHINGTON BUREAU — Rep. Sander Levin, the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is hoping to do something about the federal estate tax when the House returns from its Easter recess.
Committee action on the tax could start the week of April 12.
But officials at the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, Falls Church, Va., warn that House action will be a relatively small component of efforts to fix the estate tax mess.
“The game remains in the Senate,” says Sarah Spear, AALU director of policy and public affairs.
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 now governs estate tax levels.
In 2001, the maximum individual exemption was $1 million, and the maximum tax rate was 55%.
EGTRRA phased the tax out over a 10-year period.
In 2009, the maximum individual exemption was $3.5 million, and the top rate was 45%.
The federal estate tax expired Jan. 1, but, if EGTRRA stands as is, the tax will spring back to 2001 levels Jan. 1, 2011.