Valuation, Values, Norms: Proposals for Estate and Gift Tax Reform

20 Pages Posted: 11 May 2016 Last revised: 2 Nov 2016

Date Written: May 10, 2016


In their contributions to the Symposium on The Centennial of the Estate and Gift Tax, Professor Joseph Dodge, Professor Wendy Gerzog, and Professor Kerry Ryan offer concrete proposals for improving the existing estate and gift tax system. Professor Dodge and Professor Gerzog are especially interested in accuracy in valuation, and advance specific proposals with respect to split-interest transfers and family limited partnerships. Professor Dodge makes an additional proposal to improve the generation-skipping transfer tax system, an understudied area of the law. Professor Gerzog’s Symposium contribution draws particular attention to the legal fiction on which the estate and gift tax marital deductions rely. She would restrict the availability of the deduction to only meaningful economic transfers to a spouse, consistent with a desire that tax results reflect the underlying substantive results. Professor Ryan also focuses on the estate and gift tax marital deduction, along with other wealth transfer tax benefits available to spouses. She imagines an expansion of those rules, showing how easily the law can be separated from economic substance. These authors' proposals are technically expert, relevant to the legislative and regulatory regime that taxpayers face daily, focused on solutions, and deeply engaged in understanding how well the law meets its goals.

Keywords: Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Valuation, QTIP, GRAT, Family Limited Partnership, Marital Deduction

JEL Classification: K34, K3, K39, K19

Suggested Citation

Crawford, Bridget J., Valuation, Values, Norms: Proposals for Estate and Gift Tax Reform (May 10, 2016). 57 Boston College Law Review 979 (2016), Available at SSRN:

Bridget J. Crawford (Contact Author)

Pace University School of Law ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

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