The approaching 100th anniversary of the estate tax is an opportune time to reexamine its role in our fiscal system. This is particularly true in light of the political maelstrom that has surrounded the estate and gift tax in the past 20 years.
Throughout its history, the estate and gift tax has served several purposes. It has been viewed as a revenue source, a method to reduce wealth concentration and a method to increase the progressivity of the income tax. Because of these multiple roles, the tax has been controversial. In addition, administration of the tax has been difficult as Congress and Treasury have frequently considered various methods for closing loopholes in the tax. It is our pleasure to present some of the nation’s leading tax scholars to examine the many issues that pertain to the estate and gift tax and to help advance the discussion in a reasoned and thoughtful manner.
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