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Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Friday, 05 February 2010 08:43
Would you be willing to prepay estate taxes while you are alive, in exchange for a lower tax rate? This is the idea from Washington's own Sen. Maria Cantwell and it could lead to a permanent compromise on the on the Federal Estate Tax. (Dow Jones Newswire)

As anyone who has studied the Roth IRA conversions can tell you, sometime pre-paying a tax makes sense. Pre-paying estate taxes isn't a new idea. In fact we have a special name for it. The Federal Gift Tax. Currently taxable gifts are...

Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Tuesday, 02 February 2010 13:59
When I reviewed the President Obama's Budget, I felt like I was in the Bill Murray movie. Please Punxsutawney Phil, give us guidance!

When it comes to the estate tax, this year’s budget is a lot like last year’s budget. They both assume that the 2009 estate tax exemption of $3.5 million and tax rates continued into the future. Just like last year we are waiting for congressional action. And like last year, we will see another change in the law next year if congress and the President are...

Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Thursday, 28 January 2010 14:41
Something interesting happened today. The Senate passed a paygo or pay-as-you-go bill. The purpose of this legislation is to force some fiscal discipline on the legislative and executive branch. Although that sounds like a good idea, the legislation was only passed as part of a compromise to obtain support for the debt level increase from Senate Democrats and House Blue Dog Democrats. The Republicans are opposed to it, calling it "swiss-cheese-go" (Republican Judd Gregg) because of its...

Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 20:21
The estate tax isn't the only tax provision expiring on Dec. 31. Due to congressional inaction 50 tax provisions will expire. Including the annual AMT patch, the deduction for state and local sales taxes, the $4,000 deduction for college tuition, a provision that allows taxpayers age 70-and-a-half or older to transfer up to $100,000 directly from an IRA to charity, the business R&D credit, and a biodiesel tax credit. Many of these provisions require action every year and they are likely...

Written by Derek W. Jensen   
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 13:50
Will congress act to restore the estate tax for next year? If Representative Hoyer and Senator Baucus have their way, the answer is yes.

"I have every confidence it will be fixed early next year," said Rep. Earl Pomeroy.

Really. Where does this confidence come from? This one year repeal has been part of the law for the past 8 1/2 years. Congress has talked about it every year since then. President Obama made a campaign promise to deal with it. A fix made it into the 2009 budget resolution...

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