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New estate tax proposal debated

A Congressional bill recently introduced would modify the manner in which we pay the federal estate tax. This would give taxpayers inheriting money the choice between paying the estate tax or, in the alternate, paying a small percentage of their gross income for a period of seven years or more.

While providing taxpayers a choice, not everyone is on board with this. One tax policy spokesperson feels it would be better to simply repeal the estate tax in its entirety than to introduce legislation that would change the manner in which it is paid. This individual feels that the federal estate tax provides disincentives to invest or save.

One University of California-Davis School of Law professor was even more vocal in his criticism of this estate tax proposal. He claims such a proposal neither benefits consumers or taxpayers. “It [the bill] calls itself a simplified way of doing things, but, by adding this alternative, all of the sudden everybody who things they are going to be subject to the estate and gift tax is going to rush out and ask their tax planner whether or not they should take this alternative route or be subject to the original estate and gift tax.”

Tax attorneys already understand the complications that arise regarding any sort of tax. The handling of gift and estate taxation matters can also be highly complex. The services such professionals offer therefore help simplify tax matters for estate executors and taxpayers alike. Mistakes made in filing of tax returns and in complying with IRS requirements can possibly lead to audits and a variety of penalties.

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