Law & Order

SEMA Urges Permanent Estate Tax Relief

Uncle Sam top hat
SEMA is urging lawmakers to make permanent changes that will limit the government's take on estate taxes.

SEMA joined with a number of other associations in forming the “Permanent Estate Tax Relief Now Coalition." The Coalition is urging Congress to pass legislation which makes permanent the current exemption rate of $3.5 million/individual ($7 million/couple). Monies beyond that amount are taxed at 45 percent.

Under President Bush’s tax cut of 2001, the so-called “death tax” is being gradually phased-out by 2010. It will reappear under its previous 55% tax rate on anything above $1 million in 2011, however, unless lawmakers change the law.

Although the topic has been debated for years, lawmakers have yet to find a permanent solution. There is a chance that the taxes could remain at the highest levels after 2011 given the growing federal deficit. The Coalition believes the current rates would allow small-business owners to maintain family-run businesses without being forced to sell the company to pay estate taxes. Additionally, it would provide certainty when making estate tax planning decisions.

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at