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

Income and inheritance taxes which are in effect confiscatory destroy themselves by transferring capital in private hands, essential to private enterprise, to unproductive public funds.

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Chicago Daily Tribune.
01/17/1932 | 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

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

Removing the capital from the hands of the owner and putting it into the hands of the Government is only, in the main, taking it from the live hand and putting it into the dead hand. So the only possible result of extending the scope of confiscation by the dead hand is to limit the amount of productive enterprise and, therefore, the amount that can be paid in wages.

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Samuel Crowther, Washington Post.
08/10/1935 | 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.