Beth Kaufman Quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Good News for Gift Givers

The Wall Street Journal
Excerpt taken from article.

Taxpayers planning to make large gifts got some good news last week.

For several weeks a viral Internet rumor predicted Congress would vote on Nov. 23 to drop the current $5 million-per-individual estate tax exemption to $1 million and raise the top rate to 50% from 35%.

That didn't happen, but on Nov. 17, veteran House Ways & Means member Jim McDermott (D., Wash) introduced a bill that also would cut back the exemption to $1 million and raise the rate to 55% for most estates, beginning in 2012.

How could that be good news? Experts are paying little attention to the bill's proposed rates and exemptions, or its effective date, which lawmakers will surely debate. What has caught the experts' eye is the bill's details.

Beth Kaufman, a former Treasury official who is now an attorney with Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, noted the change. Most important, she says, is that the provision is drafted so it's technically correct. That gives it a fighting chance of surviving into future bills. "Legislation is frenetic, and lawmakers tend to pick up provisions that are already ‘on the shelf,'" she says. "This one is now available."

Click here to read the article about the estate tax exemption.



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