6 estate tax headlines: What to know about the 'death tax'

6 estate tax headlines: What to know about the 'death tax'

House plans to address estate tax; could have significant impact on farm businesses

House legislators this week are planning to vote on a bill to permanently repeal the estate tax – also referred to as a "death tax."

Related: Legislators hear farmer, rancher concerns on estate taxes

Legislators sponsoring death tax repeal say it's especially hard on family farmers, as some farms must sell land or other assets to pay estate taxes due following the death of a family member.

It will be the first time the House has considered such a bill in 10 years, and also includes additional provisions that impact gift taxes.

Sens. John Thune (L) and Chuck Grassley discuss the Estate Tax Repeal Act of 2015 in Washington, D.C., on March 26, 2015. (Thune photo)

Amid talk of the House vote, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., reiterated support for permanent repeal, citing estate tax rates as high as 40%, which he says hurts succession of family farms.

Thune is a co-sponsor of the "Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015," a bill in the Senate that also has support of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Despite the big push for repeal, there's opposition – criticisms of the estate tax repeal include its relatively limited impact (on an estimated 0.2% of U.S. businesses), and loss of tax revenue.

President Barack Obama also is critical of the measure, suggesting instead that tax breaks retain focus on childcare and education.

Here are six headlines to catch up on the death tax talk:

1. Is the death tax killing American family farms? Forbes

2. Thune: Estate tax a 'nightmare'. The Hill

3. Why Republicans Want a Bigger U.S. Estate Tax Repeal Than Ever. Bloomberg

4. White House blasts GOP estate tax vote. The Hill

5. Obama, Republicans duel over tax cut plans. USA Today

6. Obama’s Double Death Tax | Commentary. Roll Call

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