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The Silly Season for Tax Legislation

Even though Halloween has come and gone, not all of the tricks and treats have been given out.  Over the next 60 days, we'll be keeping our eyes peeled for all of the last minute tax changes that will be coming out of Congress.  We expect a flurry this year. 

The Silly Season for tax legislation has begun and 2009 appears to be particularly busy.  Why is it silly

Not only are these year-end provisions rushed to completion, sometimes they come out half-baked.  They can also bust the best laid plans of businesses and taxpayers who made other plans or were unaware of the changes underway.

We're keeping our eyes and ears open for the following three, anticipated changes:

Estate Tax Reform
As the law now stands, the Estate Tax is supposed to be totally repealed for folks who die during 2010, but comes back with a vengeance in 2011.  Because of the "bad behavior" this could cause, no one seriously expects it to play out this way.  In fact, there is already a bi-partisan effort in Congress to extend the current rules for at least one more year until Congress can get its act together to craft a comprehensive solution.

Homebuyer's Tax Credit
Last week, 165 members of the House co-signed legislation to extend the $8,000 tax credit for certain homebuyers.  This credit program is supposed to run out at the end of November, but there is strong support to keep it running at least another six months.  Some proponents even suggest loosening some of the many restrictions on the program to broaden its impact and appeal.

December 31st tolls the final bell for a number of deductions, incentives and tax credit programs for business taxpayers...unless these provisions are extended.  Several have been extended a number of times already, which has created an aura of expectancy about their ongoing survival.  The type and number of these provisions is too lengthy to go into detail, but we are watching to see which ones will be given new life. 

Just in case you thought we put our feet up on the desk and relax the next couple months, now you know differently.  We're here to help you with your year-end tax planning and questions, and we'll be monitoring events in Washington daily.  As developments unfold, we'll be sure to keep you in the know.

If you have questions, please let me know.  We'll address those questions and provide answers in upcoming editions.

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