Tax: Estate

Tax: Estate

The estate tax is levied upon the "taxable estate" of a fantastically wealthy deceased person to any recipient (with certain allowances made for federally-recognized spouses and charitable organizations). The vast majority of people are unaffected by the estate tax. As of 2011, $5 million can be transferred from the taxable estate of a deceased individual without becoming eligible for the estate tax.

Cry Wolf Quotes

Invested in reproductive enterprise this capital pays taxes again and again. Squandered by Government departments it is only spent once.

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Wall Street Journal.
02/04/1921 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

The Federal Government should keep estate taxes as a reserve in times of national stress. All prior inheritance taxes have been war taxes; and it is only now that it is proposed to destroy this reserve in times when revenues from other sources are adequate and even in excess of the Nation's needs. Such a course of action is not only thoroughly unsound but borders on economic suicide.

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Andrew W. Mellon.
04/01/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

We believe that a tax system designed to penalize the small group of wealthy individuals for the benefit of the others injures all groups by diminishing the incentive to productive effort, thereby reducing the total output available for distribution, which really constitutes the national income. … We oppose this Federal tax program on the ground that high estate and inheritance taxes tend to dissipate the aggregations of wealth on which industry depends for its capital and on which the government depends for a substantial part of its revenue under the present income taxes.

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Guarantee Trust Company of New York, New York Times.
07/29/1935 | 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

  • Estate Tax Basics

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains the reality of the much-mythologized estate tax.

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.