Last year, the federal estate tax earned the government about $25 billion dollars. This year, unless Congress takes action, the amount will be zero.
The missing Estate Tax in 2010 means more than just less revenue for the federal government. Santa Rosa tax attorney MaryClare Lawrence explains it has a ripple effect that touches virtually anyone who has some kind of an estate plan.
Nor are the complications in the tax law that apply in 2010 limited to the Estate Tax. Lawrence says that calculating Capital Gains on inherited wealth has also gotten trickier.
This table shows how the revenue collected from Estate Taxes was apportioned before the minimum exemption was increased. The first blue column, for estates of less than $2.5 million, has gone away for the past several years, but unless Congress enacts changes, Lawrence says it is due to return with a in 2011.