A Quarter Century of Estate Tax Reforms
Posted: 5 Feb 2001
Estate Tax Reforms over the past quarter of a century reflect a number of objectives. These include harmonization of estate and gift taxes, reductions in tax burdens, easing liquidity restraints, and simplifying compliance and tax administration. As a result of these changes, many taxpayers were eliminated from the tax rolls, the tax burden on married individuals eliminated or deferred, taxes on businesses were reduced, and the yield to the fisc reduced considerably. An unintended effect of tax reforms is that many of the changes have intensified the need for tax planning and added to the complexity of the tax code. In this paper, I review many of the changes, and discuss their implications for taxpayer behavior and complexity.
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