WASHINGTON, D.C. – In his recent speech before the Senate, Sen. Orrin Hatch outlined the impact on American farmers, small businesses, and individuals if Congress does not act to provide relief from the death tax before the end of the year.
“Allowing death tax policy to expire is another example of the president putting ideology and sentiment ahead of economic reality. While the death tax targets the transfer of wealth from one individual to an infinite amount of other individuals, the repercussions are felt throughout all income levels,” said Hatch, who has long said the death tax should be fully repealed.
“From a person working the cornfields, to a cashier in a mom and pop store, to a gas station attendant, the long arm of the death tax affects more than the so-called wealthy. It is called the death tax not only because it is a tax imposed at a time when family members are grieving over the loss of a loved one, but also because it can be a death sentence for the family businesses and farms that American workers depend on for their livelihoods.”
Under current law, the death tax and the gift tax are unified with a $5 million exemption amount and a top tax rate of 35 percent. However, on Jan. 1, 2013, unless Congress acts, taxpayers will face an estate tax with a lower exemption amount of $1 million and a top rate of 55 percent that is due within nine months of death. Legislation put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and passed by the Democrat-led Senate would allow the death tax to come fully back to life. Hatch authored competing legislation that would have provided significant relief from the death tax by preserving the higher exemption amount as well as lower rates.
Submitted by the Office of Sen. Orrin Hatch
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