Death and Taxes

There's good news and bad news for jewelers and other longtime opponents of the federal estate tax—the tax assessed on a taxpayer's net assets after death and paid by the executor, administrator, or heirs. The good news: Congress, in late spring, approved elimination of the tax, and it was signed into law by the President. The bad news: The provision calls for a decade-long phasing out of the tax, rather than erasing it immediately. "This is not ideal but is a very big step [toward getting rid of the tax]," says Nathan Olsen, legislative counsel with Haaken Associates, Jewelers of America's lobbyists in Washington, D.C. "Jewelers should be very pleased, especially considering the evenly distributed political situation in Congress and the opposition to repealing the estate tax." In April the House of Representatives voted 274 to 154 to repeal the estate tax. In May, the Senate app

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