Taxes: Estate

Taxes: Estate

The estate tax or “inheritance tax” is levied upon the transfer of the taxable assets of a deceased person.   First adopted in the nineteen century as temporary taxes to fund wars, the Federal estate tax in its current form has been on the books since 1916 as a vital instrument of progressive taxation.    The tax rate and exemption levels have changed over the years. A number of states also have estate taxes.  Recent attempts at repeal of the federal tax have been prevented but tax rates are lower and exemption levels higher.

Commentary

Taxes and the wealthy

Will Higher Taxes on the Rich Kill Jobs?

December 01, 2010

Cry Wolf Quotes

Death taxes are based entirely upon capital. This capital can be destroyed either by taking it from its owners and using it for maintenance of government, or what amounts to the same thing, by diminishing its value, or by checking the incentive for its production. That is actually happening.

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Undersecretary of the Treasury Garrard B. Winston, Los Angeles Times.
10/14/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

They increased inheritances to the point where cash must be hoarded to pay the tax collector in case of death.

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Chicago Daily Tribune.
01/08/1932 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

I do not believe that the Government should seek social legislation in the guise of taxation. If we are to adopt socialism, it should be presented to the people of this country as socialism, and not under the guise of a law to collect revenue.

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President Calvin Coolidge, Washington Post.
02/20/1925 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

[President Roosevelt’s endorsement of an inheritance tax gave] more encouragement to state socialism and centralization of government than all the frothy demagogues have accomplished in a quarter of a century of agitation of the muddy waters of discontent.

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The Philadelphia Record
04/14/1906 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

Estate Tax Policy Brief

By Joseph J. Thorndike

Since at least the 1920s, estate tax opponents had been trotting out the same litany of warnings and complaints about the Estate Tax. 

Resources

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is a think tank focused on tax and fiscal policy. They provide in-depth analysis of state issues.

Citizens for Tax Justice is an organization that represents low and middle income citizens in the tax debates on Capitol Hill.