On May 27, 2010, the Fiscal Times published Estate Tax Update: Congress Looks for a Compromise, by Tom Herman, a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
This article captures the uncertain status of estate tax reform:
There is near unanimity that Congress needs to act — preferably soon — but no one knows what will happen, or when. . . .
Some experts still think the most likely outcome would be bringing back last year’s law, known as “snapback,” and making it retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010. But lawyers at the ABA tax-section conference said odds are growing for a compromise that would raise the basic exemption level to as much as $5 million, and cut the top tax rate to somewhere between 35 percent and 45 percent. This could be done in one shot — or phased in over several years.
Herman provides a number of excellent quotes, including the following:
- Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL], assistant majority leader: "We know we have to do something"
- Sen. Susan Collins [R-ME]: "I am shocked we’re in May and still haven’t acted"
- Ronald D. Aucutt, partner at the McGuireWoods: “We’ve reached the point that most of us thought was unimaginable.”
The article concludes with the following solution by one lawyer: “Every member of Congress must serve as an executor in 2010.”