Lack of Estate Tax in 2010: Now Death Is Cheaper?

This is a super disturbing story about the return of the death tax, which is nonexistent in 2010:

For example, a wealthy person who dies on January 1, 2011, and left her heirs $10 million would really be leaving them $5.05 million because of taxes. If they died a day earlier (assuming no changes were made in tax laws), the heirs could receive the full $10 million.

To be sure, Congress could enact legislation to reinstate the estate tax and make it retroactive to the start of the year, so the notion of a wealthy family receiving a windfall by having a relative die in 2010 might be moot.

The fact that even after you die Congress still taxes you is ridiculous. This is nothing more than theft, and it is a shame that these taxes occur at all — and that the present schedule creates such a perverse incentive for the elderly to die in 2010.

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