Gavel to Gavel: Nothing is certain but death and ... By Stephanie Chapman


Article first published in The Journal Record - January 20, 2011.

December 2010 was marked with a flurry of legislative activity related to taxes. There was the last-minute extension of several income tax breaks, most of which had been scheduled for 10 years to expire at the end of 2010. Congress also managed to agree on changes to the transfer tax provisions. Not to complain about the circus that was the transfer tax system for the last 10 years, but it’s fair to say that Congress dropped the ball, failing to act for nine years and allowing the estate tax to be repealed, then swooping in at the last minute to prevent a reversion back to the system that existed prior to 2001 legislation.

Apparently, though, Congress is not swayed by the argument that uncertain tax laws are bad for business. Members of Congress also don’t appear to be affected by the significant criticism and complaining that practitioners and others have leveled at them recently, because most of the provisions in the 2010 legislation are set to expire within the next two years. That all but ensures that the next few Decembers will be busy, as well. Providing for a significant portion of the current laws to expire at the end of 2012 also likely puts taxes – and tax reform – at the center of the 2012 election.

Article authored by McAfee & Taft Attorney: Stephanie Chapman.

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