Gift and Estate Taxes: The Case for Deunification

42 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2021

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 25, 2020


For the last half a century, the federal gift tax has been relegated virtually out of existence. There are many reasons that the gift tax has met this fate, including the current size of the lifetime tax exemption amount and the fact that noncompliance has gone largely unchecked. However, the real culprit in the subversion of the gift tax is the academic community: several decades ago, in the name of theoretical tidiness, it prodded Congress to amalgamate the estate and gift taxes into a unified whole. In retrospect, this exercise has proven to be a blunder that needs to be undone. This analysis posits how Congress can resurrect the federal gift tax and restore it to its former vibrancy.

Suggested Citation

Soled, Jay, Gift and Estate Taxes: The Case for Deunification (May 25, 2020). Harvard Journal on Legislation, Vol. 57, No. 439, 2020, Rutgers Law School Research Paper No. Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Jay Soled (Contact Author)

Rutgers University ( email )

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Newark, NJ 07901-1825
United States
(973) 353-1727 (Phone)

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