Estate Tax Changes Passed For 2011 As we watch the countdown on New Year's Eve it is a heady time indeed. Another year beckons, full of change and pregnant with possibility. Before you know it, that fateful time arrives and champagne corks take flight, people break into heartfelt song, and anything seems possible. But when you wake up the next morning and make it to work a day or two later, you tend to find the world looking pretty much the same as it did before all of that change that went down on New Year's Eve. Though the above scenario is pretty accurate most of the time, the transition between 2010 and 2011 is indeed relevant in the sphere of estate planning. As you are probably aware the estate tax was repealed for the 2010 calendar year because of a provision in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (commonly referred to as the “Bush tax cuts”). But the federal levy that many derisively like to refer to as the death tax was scheduled to return in 2011 with a low $1 million exclusion and a top rate of any eye-popping 55%. The Bush era tax cuts were scheduled to expire at the end of 2010. Throughout the year there were discussions among lawmakers on Capitol Hill about extending the cuts and providing some estate tax relief. A bill finally made it through Congress that would extend the Bush tax cuts, reduce the Social Security payroll tax, and revise the estate tax parameters. It was signed into law by the president on December 17th, and we now have some more favorable numbers to work with. The estate tax exclusion has been raised to $5 million for individual taxpayers and $10 million for married couples, and the top rate has been reduced to 35%. These parameters will remain in effect through 2012, so we can look forward to another round of wrangling in another 18 months or so. Experienced estate planning attorneys Garden City NY of the Law Offices of Saul Kobrick P.C. offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Garden City NY. To learn more about these free resources, please visit http://www.kobricklaw.com today.
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