House Democratic leaders have announced that they plan to introduce and consider another bill that would include a provision limiting the use of grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs). This second bill is expected to include many of the same provisions previously included in the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act (HR 4849) that passed the House in April. The GRAT provision would be the largest offset in the bill, covering $5.3 billion of the expected $7.2 billion cost. The measure could be considered on the House floor as early as next week.
On our families’ behalf, Policy and Taxation Group continues to communicate to House and Senate leaders the substantive and procedural case against the provision and raise the specific objection to inclusion of estate tax revenue raisers in legislation unrelated to the estate tax. We also continue to work to ensure that if GRAT restrictions do ultimately move forward they have the most limited impact on the legitimate use by families. Since the House operates by majority rule, it will be very difficult to prevent passage in that chamber. In addition to reaching out to Representatives, we continue to focus energy in the Senate, which currently offers us a better forum to push for estate tax relief proposals and modify and eliminate harmful offsets.