The 2010 law governing gift and estate taxes is set to expire at the end of this year. For 2013, assuming Congress does not act, the lifetime limits on gift tax will fall from $5.12 million to $1 million. That means an individual can gift, over his lifetime, no more than $1 million tax-free starting in 2013. The top gift tax rate on amounts of more than that $1 million threshold is also scheduled to rise from 35 percent to 55 percent starting next year.
Despite the partisan bickering that kept Congress from accomplishing much in 2011, small businesses and entrepreneurs managed to eke out a few victories in Washington, D.C., this year.
1. Repeal of the 1099 paperwork requirement
2. Repeal of 3 percent withholding for government contractors
3. Small Business Innovation Research compromise
4. Startup America launched
5. Free-trade agreements passed