Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Options for Reforming the Estate Tax

Options for Reforming the Estate Tax: "Options for Reforming the Estate Tax
Author(s): William G. Gale, Leonard E. Burman, Jeff Rohaly
Other Availability: PDF Printer-Friendly Version
Published: April 18, 2005
Citation URL: http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=1000780
The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.
� TAX ANALYSTS. Reprinted with permission.
Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).

I. Introduction
Under current law, the estate tax is reduced gradually through 2009, repealed in 2010, and then reinstated in full force in 2011. Few expect things to actually play out that way. President Bush and many members of Congress would like to repeal the tax permanently, and many would like to do so before 2010. Repeal would be expensive, however: Immediate repeal would reduce revenues by more than $400 billion over the next decade. Even making repeal permanent as of 2010 would cost $270 billion in the next 10 years. Repeal would also be regressive, would reduce charitable giving by more than $15 billion a year, and would invite significant tax sheltering activities. It would increase the concentration of wealth, and may also increase the political power of a wealthy elite. "

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