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

In considering a revision of estate taxes, there should be eliminated any question of levying the tax as a means of punishing wealth or as in some way for the social good of our civilization…The theory upon which this country was founded is equality of opportunity. So long as a man uses his abilities within the bounds of the moral sense of the community, monetary success is not a crime, but on the contrary adds to the total wealth of the country and to an increase in the standard of living as a whole.

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

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

Estate taxes, carried to an excess, in no way differ from the methods of the revolutionists in Russia.

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Andrew W. Mellon.
04/01/1924 | 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

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.