Rethinking the Estate and Gift Tax: Overview

87 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2001 Last revised: 11 Feb 2010

See all articles by William G. Gale

William G. Gale

Brookings Institution

Joel B. Slemrod

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: April 2001

Abstract

This paper surveys, integrates, and extends research on estate and gift taxes. The paper begins with information on features of U.S. transfer taxes, characteristics of recent estate tax returns, the evolution of transfer taxes, the role of such taxes in other countries, and theory and evidence concerning why people give intergenerational transfers. The next sections examine the incidence, equity, and efficiency of transfer taxes. Subsequent sections cover administrative issues and the effects on saving, labor supply, entrepreneurship, inter vivos gifts, charitable contributions, and capital gains realizations. The paper closes with a discussion of policy options and a short conclusion.

Suggested Citation

Gale, William G. and Slemrod, Joel B., Rethinking the Estate and Gift Tax: Overview (April 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8205. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=265299

William G. Gale (Contact Author)

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Joel B. Slemrod

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