Death Tax Looms Over Small Businesses
Members of the House Small Business Committee today heard testimony from leaders in the small business community on the estate tax, or death tax. Without action from Congress before 2011, family farms and entrepreneurs may find their companies at risk.
Current law, which would phase out the estate tax for those who die in 2010 only, is scheduled to sunset on January 1, 2011. If Congress does nothing, a top marginal estate tax rate of 55%, and an exemption of just $1 million, would again take effect in 2011. Often times, small businesses and firms are operated by families, and transferred from one generation to the next.
Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) said, “Death should not be a taxable event. The notion that the federal government is owed anything upon the death of a family member is outrageous.”
Terry Neese, testifying on behalf of the National Center for Policy Analysis and as a small business owner, said, “The uncertainty is one of the biggest problems. We need a permanent fix, and one that will help all small business owners. It will help us create more jobs and the burden that will be released would be a huge one for us.”
Ranking Member Graves has introduced legislation, H.R. 664, to make the 2001 and 2003 tax relief, including the estate tax phase out, permanent.