Costs and Consequences of the Federal Estate Tax

41 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2006

See all articles by Daniel Miller

Daniel Miller

Retired (Joint Economic Committee); retired

Date Written: May 2006


This study examines the arguments for and against the federal estate tax, finding that benefits of the tax are often overstated, and in any case are far smaller than the documented costs. On balance, the analysis finds that the costs imposed by the estate tax outweigh any potential benefits that the tax might produce. In light of this finding, there is no compelling reason to keep the tax, and a number of reasons to reduce or abolish it.

Keywords: estate tax, death tax, taxation, inheritance, bequests, income distribution, intergenerational transfers, capital

JEL Classification: E60, H20, H24, D31

Suggested Citation

Miller, Daniel, Costs and Consequences of the Federal Estate Tax (May 2006). Available at SSRN: or

Daniel Miller (Contact Author)

Retired (Joint Economic Committee) ( email )

G-01 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Room SD-G01
Washington, DC 20510
United States


retired ( email )

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