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Estate Tax Philosophies of the 2012 Presidential Candidates

The current estate, gift and generation skipping transfer tax laws are set to expire at the end of 2012.  The President and Congress will have to decide whether they extend the current laws or implement new laws. Politicians have been arguing about the value of the “death tax” for many years.  The U.S. Department of Treasury estimates that in 2008 they collected over $25 billion in estate taxes.

Mitt Romney on Estate Taxes

Mitt Romney, the current front runner in the 2012 Republican Presidential race shared his philosophy on the death tax in his book “The Man, His Values & His Vision” and stated: “It doesn’t make sense to me that people get taxed when they can earn their money, get taxed when they save their money, and get taxed when they die. We should get rid of the death tax” (p. 115).

President Obama on Estate Taxes

President Obama has stated that his goal is to eliminate tax burdens for 95% of Americans and relieve small businesses of taxes. He believes the wealthiest Americans should carry a bigger load of the tax burdens and would likely be in favor of estate taxes which would only tax very large estates.

Regardless of who is elected President in 2012, Congress will have to act and will hopefully enact a permanent solution to the estate tax issue rather than the temporary “kick the can down the road” approach we have been seeing over the last decade. Taxes affect all of us and are an important issue to watch as the elections of 2012 draw near.

Getting Legal Help

Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Elga Goodman knows the current tax laws and can help you understand the tax consequences of your estate planning decisions on your loved ones. Contact us today at 973-841-5111.

Posted in: Estate Planning, New York Estate Planning