By Mike Barnett
I always heard that the only thing sure in life is death and taxes and you can be assured your estate will be taxed to death if it’s big enough when you die.
That’s why a headline in a recent American Farm Bureau Federation news release caught my attention. It noted that estate taxes are ripe for repeal with 218 co-sponsors—more than half of the House of Representatives—on board for legislation to permanently repeal the estate tax.
Not only would Texas Congressman Kevin Brady’s Death Tax Repeal Act, HR 2429, repeal estate taxes, it would maintain stepped-up basis.
Although the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 provided significant estate tax relief, total repeal of this tax is even better.
Farmers and ranchers are rich in capital assets, such as land and equipment, but often poor in liquidity. That’s why the death tax is so onerous. Many times those assets must be sold just to pay the taxes. With those assets go hopes, dreams and the family business.
Dying is bad enough. Being taxed for it is even worse.
It’s time to bury the death tax once and for all.