U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), along with 39 other senators, are pushing back against proposed regulations that would increase the estate tax, or “death tax,” on family farms and businesses.
The senators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew expressing their concern that the new rules would “discourage families from continuing to operate and build their businesses” and asking him to withdraw the proposed regulations.
“Treasury should pursue policies that encourage the creation and growth of family businesses and not propose regulatory changes that make it more difficult and costly for families to transfer ownership to future generations,” the senators wrote. “We thus request that Treasury withdraw the proposed regulations and ask that any regulations that Treasury may issue in the future more directly target perceived abuses in the valuation of transferred interests in family businesses.”
Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 with the purpose of providing relief from the estate tax. It was subsequently signed into law by the president. In August 2016, the Department of the Treasury proposed regulations under Internal Revenue Code section 2704 that would make it more difficult and costly for families to transfer ownership of their farms and businesses to their children.