January 10, 2007 02:04 PM | | Bookmark and Share

The previous Congress failed in its efforts to enact permanent repeal of the federal estate tax, a move that would cost nearly $1 trillion over the first full decade. New data from the Internal Revenue Service, detailing estate tax payments in each state for 2005, show that more than ever, the estate tax is virtually irrelevant to most Americans.

A summary table for 2005 estate tax payments follows. Overall, the percentage of people owing estate taxes dropped by 39% between 2004 and 2005. This is largely because the estate tax exemption was increased to $1.5 million, compared to $1 million in the previous year. The exemption is scheduled to increase further in later years until 2010, when the estate tax is scheduled to be repealed. In 2011, however, the estate tax will be resurrected with the $1 million exemption and rates that applied under pre-Bush law.

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