House Votes Overwhelmingly to Repeal Estate Tax

An historic vote in the House today will pave the way for the eventual repeal of the oppressive estate tax. The vote was 279-136 to repeal the "death tax" over a period of 10 years. Sixty-five Democrats voted in favor of this bill, enough to override a projected veto by President Clinton.

The tax affects about 2% of Americans, many of whom are owners of farms and family businesses. It is estimated that the repeal of the tax will cost the government approximately $50 billion per year. Congressmen argue that this money will be covered by the projected federal surplus.

The federal estate tax ranges from 18% to 55% on estates valued at more than $675,000, and some estates are subject to an additional 5% surtax. Estates that are passed through, tax-free, to surviving spouses, are subject to tax on value that exceeds $1.35 million, or twice the single amount. Some special rules provide for greater exemptions to estates containing family farms and small businesses, and some of these types of estates have a longer period of time over which to pay the tax.

Representatives of minority groups including African-Americans and Hispanics support the repeal of the tax, claiming that businesses their constituents are trying to build are threatened by the tax. Some Democrats support a reduction rather than a repeal of the tax, offering special exemptions to farmers and small business owners, and lowering, but not ending the tax for the wealthiest Americans.

You may like these other stories...

Renaissance avoided more than $6 billion tax, report saysThe Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said on Monday that a Renaissance Technologies LLC hedge fund’s investors probably avoided more than $6...
A new Gallup survey found that 58 percent of smokers in the United States see increased state and federal taxes on cigarettes as an act of unjust discrimination, while 39 percent believe the tax hikes are justified.The...
Liberal groups object to bill barring taxes on Internet accessThe Internet Tax Freedom Act hasn’t been a controversial bill. In fact, it’s so popular that senators are seeking to pair it up with a far more...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.
Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.