Federal Estate, GST and Gift Tax Law: Current Status And Possible Retroactive Legislation

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Despite legislation proposed by Congress in 2009, which we reported on in our prior Alerts, Congress has nevertheless been unable to prevent the repeal of the federal estate and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes. Consequently, the landscape for the federal estate and GST taxes appears markedly different than it was in 2009, and different from how it is likely to be in 2011. Even though Congress did not reach agreement on the federal estate, GST, and gift taxes in 2009, members of Congress have indicated that congressional consideration of such taxes will be a priority in 2010—and that the legislation will have an effective date retroactive to January 1, 2010. Adding to the uncertainty is the extent to which retroactive legislation, if passed by Congress, would be subject to a constitutional challenge.

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