The Distribution of the Estate Tax and Reform Options

Research Report

The Distribution of the Estate Tax and Reform Options

Abstract

In 2001, when Congress decided to phase down the estate tax through 2009, repeal it in 2010, and restore it in 2011, it was clear that the ultimate fate of this tax was yet to be determined. One key factor that policymakers should consider in any permanent repeal or reform effort is the distribution of tax burdens that would result. This paper uses a microsimulation model containing household-level information on demographic characteristics and the level and composition of wealth and income to simulate the revenue effects and distributional burdens of alternative options for estate tax reform.

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