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Abstract

It would be impossible to put together a more improbable scenario in the realm of taxation than what has happened since 2001 with the transfer taxes – federal estate tax, generation-skipping transfer tax and the federal gift tax.1 Legislation was enacted in 2001 to repeal the federal estate tax and the generation-skipping transfer tax (but not until 2010) with the applicable exclusion amount rising from $675,000 in 2001 to $3,500,000 in 2009;2 decouple the federal gift tax effective in 2002, set the applicable exclusion amount for the federal gift tax at $1,000,000 in 2002 and thereafter with no inflation adjustment and with not even talk of repeal3 and eliminate the new basis at death after 2009,4 but only for one year.5 With 2010 slipping away, the question on many minds is: what is the Congress thinking now?

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