Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2010

Abstract

This Article considers two aspects of converting the U.S. transfer tax system to one in which burdens are imposed on the basis of receipt rather than gift. The first aspect is the economic impact of distinguishing transfer tax liabilities by numbers of children in a family in addition to the total amount of transferred wealth. The second aspect is the nature of the event that triggers tax liability. Taxing on the basis of receipt raises complicated issues about generation-skipping transfers, transfers to trusts, and transfers that involve foreign as well as domestic parties, all of which are potentially influenced by the logic of taxing on receipt rather than gift. Part II of the Article reviews the logic of wealth transfer taxation in the broader context of the federal tax system. Part III considers the ultimate incidence of wealth transfer taxes, which is to say, the distribution of their burdens, and Part IV analyzes the efficiency costs of taxing wealth transfers. Part V considers the impact of potential reforms on wealth concentration, and Part VI analyzes international aspects of wealth transfer tax reform. Part VII is the conclusion.


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