I haven’t written anything tax related recently for two reasons. 1) I have been doing a bit of reconnecting with nature and have been spending a lot of my spare time in the eastern sierras, local mountains, and oh yeah, scuba diving. (Fall is my favorite time of year!) and 2) there hasn’t been much tax news to write about.

The latter point is due to largely to Congress’ inaction regarding any of the pressing tax issues that must be resolved by year end. The country keeps waiting for some guidance regarding the expiration of the so called ”Bush Tax Cuts”, the estate tax, and also a promised AMT patch that will keep many American families from paying more taxes due to the Alternative Minimum Tax this year. It is extremely difficult to try and plan ahead when not only do we not know what tax rates will be in 2011, but we aren’t sure what AMT exemptions will be retroactively for 2010!

As Congress adjourned for their Thanksgiving break they had no clear plan on how to address these issues when they return. Max Baucus, Senate Finance Chair, indicated that we may not have any resolution until right before Christmas when he told members to “get their snow boots on”.

So we just have to wait. And any planning strategies we employ now may need to be changed at the last minute, if still possible, because we won’t know the rules of the game until then.