National

Dec 2, 2009 12:16 PM by Associated Press

Congress scrambles to extend estate tax

Congress is working to extend the estate tax. The current federal estate tax law is scheduled to disappear for one year before returning in 2011 at a higher rate. But the House is expected to vote as early as tomorrow on an extension.

The bill would permanently extend the current top rate of 45 percent on estates larger than $3.5 million. Smaller estates would continue to be exempt from the tax.

The Senate is considering similar legislation, but is busy trying to overhaul health care. Senators would have to scramble to take up the estate tax this month.

Extending the tax would raise about $14 billion a year. Some Republicans and small business groups call it a "death tax" and want it permanently repealed.

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