Monday, April 25, 2005 - Who feels the estate tax pain? Mostly the wealthy - Who feels the estate tax pain? Mostly the wealthy: "Who feels the estate tax pain?
Questions of fairness aside, few people pay inheritance taxes
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

� Past impact: Less than 1.5 percent of all people who died in 2003 had estates that ended up subject to the inheritance tax.
� Half had to pay: About 37,000 estate tax returns were filed in 2004 and 19,000 had to pay estate taxes.
� Millions: In 2004 more than half of the estates subject to the tax were worth more than $10 million.

Source: Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center based on Internal Revenue Service data
WASHINGTON - When business and conservative groups launched a campaign to repeal the estate tax, they recruited Chester Thigpen to make the case that the levy hurt more than the super rich.
A black tree farmer and descendent of slaves from Mississippi, Thigpen testified before Congress in 1995 that he feared the tax on his farm after his death would be so onerous that he would not be able to pass the land on to his family.
Despite the fact that his son later said his father's plight had been exaggerated and the farm was too small to be subject to the tax, the example of Thigpen, who has since died, became part of a sustained public relations effort by Republicans to make a populist issue out of a tax paid by few Americans, most of whom are wealthy."

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