Monday, June 28, 2010

Sanders estate tax proposal would hit wealthy harder

Under the estate tax plan proposed by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-R.I.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the federal estate tax exemption would be $3.5 million for an individual, or as much as $7 million for a couple, with a tax rate of 45%. But estates with taxable assets between $10 million and $50 million would pay a 50% rate, and estates valued above $50 million would pay 55%. A further 10% surtax would apply to assets above $500 million.

In a nod to farmers, the bill would allow them to reduce the value of farmland by $3 million for estate-tax purposes, an increase over the current reduction of $1 million. It would also allow farmers and other landowners more generous estate-tax treatment of conservation easements by increasing the maximum exclusion to $2 million.

The changes would be retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said "I welcome the other side's finally putting a proposal on the table."

Posted via email from The Modern Planner

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