Paul L. Caron

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Penn Wharton: Decomposing The Decline In Estate Tax Liability Since 2000

Penn Wharton Budget Model, Decomposing the Decline in Estate Tax Liability Since 2000:

We estimate that the federal estate tax would have generated 9 times more revenue in 2019 without the tax changes in 2001 and 2017.

Penn Wharton

Key Points

  • Tax cuts and higher life expectancy have reduced estate tax revenues over the last two decades, outweighing revenue gains from an older population and strong asset price gains.
  • Growing levels of tax avoidance and/or evasion likely contributed to falling estate tax revenues over this period.
  • Under a counterfactual scenario where the 2000 tax code was in effect for tax year 2019, the estate tax would have generated 9 times as much tax liability ($85B counterfactual vs $9B actual) and 100 times as many taxable estates (127,000 counterfactual vs 1,275 actual).

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