Monday, June 28, 2010

Billionaire Estate Tax Surtax Proposed

Three Democratic Senators, led by Bernie Sanders of Vermont, are sponsoring legislation to include a 65% "billionaire surtax" for estates in excess of $500 million. The trio makes the argument that in an era of increasing federal debt, the largest estates should pay their "fair share."

Although it is unclear in this article, it appears that the intent of this proposal would be to add this surtax on top of whatever estate tax is ultimately enacted by Congress.

The proposal would also make the estate tax retroactive to January 1, 2010; such a result would almost certainly lead to constitutional challenges from estates that, at present, would have no federal estate tax obligation in 2010.

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