Posted By Nicholas Vanikiotis
Many people hope the federal estate tax will disappear next year, as scheduled. They could be sorry if it does.
Back in 2000, Congress enacted a gradual loosening of the estate exemption. It has since risen to its current level of $3.5 million per individual, or up to $7 million per couple. The tax is scheduled to lapse just for next year and return in 2011.
Washington insiders are betting lawmakers won't let that happen. Instead they believe Congress is likely to act before the end of this year to extend the current system through next year. And perhaps they should, because getting rid of the estate tax actually would cause problems for most taxpayers.