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Politics & Current Affairs

Complaints About the Death Tax Have Been Grossly Exaggerated

If there’s one asset that doesn’t need any further protections in this life or the next it’s the estate tax, according to the LA Times.

An op-ed framed the non-issue of taxing estates recently noting fewer than three out of every 1000 estates end up paying any kind of tax whatsoever. After generous exemptions, most of which Obama supports, the wealthy dead easily bequeath their holdings to their trustafarian survivors without federal intervention. Still, estate tax opponents cry afoul that the “death tax” threatens their generational wealth.

The Policy and Taxation Group argues that family assets, especially if they take the form of small businesses, face what is effectively double taxation since estates–the minority that do end up taxed–have already faced taxes during the proprietors’ lifetimes. Does the estate tax camp have a point or are they crying wolf in a system already friendly to them? Debate and discuss during tax week at Big Think.


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