Commentary To Reduce Inequality, Tax Inheritances
Henry J. Aaron
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Prospects for wealth taxes are poor, in part because the wealthy have shown themselves quite able, with the help of current campaign finance laws, to shape tax legislation in their own interest. Fortunately, a better alternative is available — taxing inheritances. This brief describes how such a tax would work: Cumulative inheritances over a lifetime exempt amount, plus gifts over an annual exempt amount, would be taxed to the recipient. This piece was posted by the Brookings Institution on November 15, 2019. An earlier version of this post was originally published as an op-ed in the The New York Times on October 15, 2019.
Research Areas Taxes and budgets
Tags Individual taxes Federal budget and economy Campaigns, proposals, and reforms Federal tax issues and reform proposals
Policy Centers Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center