The American Institute of CPAs is asking Congress to make permanent changes in the estate tax as soon as possible to provide certainty to taxpayers before the current rates and rules expire at the end of the year.

“The uncertainty of the tax law impedes proper estate planning for taxpayers, and the necessity to revise estate planning documents multiple times places an undue burden on taxpayers and the advisors,” the Institute wrote in recent testimony submitted to the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access. “In addition, if no congressional action is taken, on Jan. 1, 2013, the 2001 legislation will sunset, which will create turmoil for gifts to multigenerational trusts to which [a generation-skipping transfer tax] exemption was allocated between 2001 and 2012.”

The AICPA outlined in its testimony the estate tax reforms it believes are most important and noted it first urged Congress to make many of the reforms in 2001 as part of the AICPA’s Study on Reform of the Estate and Gift Tax System.  The Institute had previously brought the proposed reforms to the attention of Congress in 2005, 2006 and 2011.

Among other items the Institute asked Congress to maintain from the 2010 Tax Relief Act an applicable exclusion amount indexed for inflation for gift and estate tax that eliminates planning, filing, and estate tax payment burdens for all but the largest estates.

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