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Topic:   Estate Taxes

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The Charitable Contribution Deduction: Section 170 Reorganized (Research Report)
Dan Halperin

This paper attempts first to clarify tax rules concerning charitable contributions by reorganizing section 170 and simplifying the language, where possible, so that the operative rules will be clearer. In addition, a revision of the estate and gift tax provisions, intended to increase uniformity, is proposed. The possibility of further substantial simplification is explored in the section by section analysis which follows the proposed code revision. Whether or not the Code is actually revised in accordance with the proposed draft, having this tool available will help analyze the statute.

Published: 03/21/13
Availability:   PDF


Estate Taxes After ATRA (Article/Tax Facts)
Benjamin H. Harris

The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) made estate tax law permanent following more than a decade of constant change. Following ATRA, the estate tax remains one of the most progressive parts of the tax code. In 2013, estates with gross assets exceeding $20 million will account for nearly three-fourths of the total estate tax revenue. About one-fifth of the burden will fall on estates valued between $10 million and $20 million, while just 7 percent will come from estates worth less than $10 million.

Published: 02/25/13
Availability:   PDF


Tax Provisions in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) (Research Report)
Jim NunnsJeff Rohaly

The fiscal cliff debate culminated in the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA). ATRA makes permanent most of the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, permanently patches the alternative minimum tax, extends for five years the enhancements to individual income tax credits originally enacted in the 2009 stimulus legislation, and temporarily extends certain other tax provisions. This paper provides a detailed description of the individual, corporate, and estate tax provisions in ATRA.

Published: 01/09/13
Availability:   PDF


Back from the Dead: State Estate Taxes After the Fiscal Cliff (Research Report)
Norton Francis

The 2001 tax cuts temporarily phased out a credit for state estate and inheritance taxes and replaced it in 2005 with a deduction. Responding to the repeal, some states simply repealed their estate taxes. Others decoupled from the federal law, either establishing a stand-alone tax or explicitly linking their taxes to the 2001 law. But most states did nothing, leaving dormant legislation in place linked to the repealed federal credit. The uncertain future of the credit highlights the inter-relationship between federal and state tax systems and the uncertainty federal temporary actions create for taxpayers and other levels of government.

Published: 11/14/12
Availability:   PDF


It's Not About Economic Equality (Commentary)
Roberton Williams

In the New York Times' Room for Debate, Roberton Williams discusses the estate tax and why, despite its shortcomings, it still has an important role in federal tax policy.

Published: 12/17/10
Availability: HTML | PDF


Where, Oh Where, Has the Estate Tax Gone? (Article/Tax Facts)
Roberton Williams

Unless Congress changes the law, the federal estate tax will disappear on January 1, 2010. For the first time since the 1916 inception of the tax, the estate of anyone dying in 2010 will go to heirs tax free, a result of the 2001 tax law that phased out the estate tax over 10 years. But that law itself expires in 2011 and the estate tax will revert to pre-2001 law.

Published: 12/23/09
Availability: HTML | PDF


Back from the Grave: Revenue and Distributional Effects of Reforming the Federal Estate Tax (Research Report)
Leonard E. BurmanKatherine LimJeff Rohaly

In this paper we review the current wealth transfer tax rules and the changes introduced in 2001. We offer an overview of the methodology underlying the TPC's estate tax model and then use the model to estimate the number of estate tax filers, taxable returns, and the distribution of burden under current law. Finally, we investigate the revenue and distributional effects of several proposals to reform the estate tax, including those put forth by the presidential candidates.

Published: 10/20/08
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A Preliminary Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans (Summary) (Summary)
The Tax Policy Center

Tax and fiscal policy will loom large in the next president's domestic policy agenda. Nearly all of the tax cuts enacted since 2001 expire at the end of 2010 and the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) threatens to ensnare tens of millions of Americans. While a permanent fix palatable to both political parties has proven elusive, both candidates have proposed major tax changes. This summary outlines our analysis of the 2008 presidential candidates' tax plans. The full length report is also available.

Published: 06/24/08
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A Preliminary Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans (Full Report) (Research Report)
The Tax Policy Center

Tax and fiscal policy will loom large in the next president's domestic policy agenda. Nearly all of the tax cuts enacted since 2001 expire at the end of 2010 and the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) threatens to ensnare tens of millions of Americans. While a permanent fix palatable to both political parties has proven elusive, both candidates have proposed major tax changes. This report describes how we performed our modeling and analysis, outlines the major tax proposals, and discusses the implications of their policies for the revenue raised, taxpayer economic activity, and the distribution of the tax burden.

Published: 06/20/08
Availability: HTML | PDF


The Distribution of Federal Taxes, 2008-11 (Research Report)
Jeff Rohaly

Overall, the federal tax system is highly progressive. On average, households with higher incomes pay taxes that are a larger share of their income. The tax cuts passed since 2001 have reduced progressivity with the notable exception of the 2008 stimulus package. Almost all provisions of the tax cuts are set to expire by the end of 2010. Barring legislative action, effective tax rates will rise across the income spectrum in 2011 with the largest increases in the upper income classes. This paper summarizes the Tax Policy Center's latest estimates of the distribution of federal taxes for 2008 through 2011.

Published: 06/11/08
Availability: HTML | PDF

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