"What to Do About the New Estate Taxes" (January) accurately portrays some of the potential problems of the 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act. But the article also indicates that an estate of $600,000 could potentially pass in 1986 free of estate taxes. That is in error. Congress said the $192,800 in taxes on such an estate would be forgiven. The subtle difference between tax forgiveness and tax reduction is extremely important. If, dealing with the budgetary problems it now faces, Congress determines that additional revenue is needed, it will find it much easier to reduce tax forgiveness than to increase taxes.
I advise my clients that they use as much as possible of the unified credit allowed under gifting instead of hoping that Congress will continue the generosity of tax forgiveness.