Gift Taxes and Lifetime Transfers: Time Series Evidence

21 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2006

See all articles by David Joulfaian

David Joulfaian

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Analysis (OTA); Georgetown University - Department of Economics

Abstract

The tax treatment of lifetime transfers was altered on a number of occasions since the enactment of the gift tax six decades ago. Trends in gifts by the wealthy show a dramatic response to these changes. In this paper, I examine this trend and gauge its response to taxes, transitory and permanent, over a period of 65 years. The results suggest that gifts are highly elastic with respect to taxes, particularly in the short run. Tax minimization seems to be an important consideration in the timing of intergenerational transfers.

Keywords: Gift tax, estate tax, capital gains tax, gifts, bequests

JEL Classification: D19, H31

Suggested Citation

Joulfaian, David, Gift Taxes and Lifetime Transfers: Time Series Evidence. Journal of Public Economics Vol. 88, pp. 1917-1929, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=906683

David Joulfaian (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Analysis (OTA) ( email )

1500 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20220
United States

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

37th St NW & O St NW
Washington, DC 20007
United States

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