Options to Reform the Estate Tax

Brief

Options to Reform the Estate Tax

Abstract

Retargeting the estate tax to very wealthy households and lowering its rates would blunt much of the criticism against it while retaining many of its advantages. This brief explains how the estate tax works and examines who is affected by it under current law. It discusses how reform would affect tax revenues, the distribution of tax burdens, farms and small businesses, and charitable giving and bequests. A concluding section discusses ways to reduce the tax's complexity.

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