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Finance & Accounting
Pages 10 (2510 words)
563575 Everyone knows that a portion of the money they have earned will be going to the government to pay its bills, and most people will concede that taxes are a necessary evil if there is to be infrastructure, order, and public assistance among many other services which taxes fund.
Is it a tax on a deceased person’s estate willed to his/her heirs or a tax on the unavoidable but mostly undesirable act of dying? Is it an income tax or a wealth tax or both? The initial emotional reaction to the inheritance tax is usually distaste probably because, as the old joke says, it includes the two most inevitable and unpleasant events in life, death and taxes. However, framing it as a death tax is not entirely accurate, honest, or ethical. The “death tax” label came about during the debate in the first years of George W. Bush’s presidency when those who saw the inheritance tax as a tax on wealth—their wealth—wanted it repealed. Using terms such as “death tax,” and framing the inheritance tax as a “double tax,” the small minority, approximately 2% of Americans, won the repeal. It did not hurt having a president set not only to inherit but who also has heirs to a sizeable fortune, and who wanted to please his “base,” deep-pocketed conservatives. In all actuality, the inheritance tax is a wealth tax: it taxes estates willed to heirs that net worth exceeds $5 million, so only the wealthy are affected by it. Even David Joulfaian of the U.S. Department of the Treasury admits that it is a wealth tax. ...
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