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Estate Taxes and Charitable Bequests by the Wealthy

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  • Joulfaian, David
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    Abstract

    Charitable bequests are an important source of philanthropic support. Unlike bequests to children, which can be taxed at a maximum statutory rate of 0.55, such transfers are exempt from estate taxation. Thus, by lowering the price of charitable giving, the estate tax may influence the disposition of terminal wealth. In this paper, I examine the effects of estate taxation on charitable bequests using data from estate tax returns of decedents in 1992. The results suggest that the estate tax deduction is "budget" efficient. The overall effects of the estate tax, however, are modest; while the tax stimulates giving by lowering the tax price, it also discourages giving as it reduces terminal wealth.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2000)
    Issue (Month): n. 3 (September)
    Pages: 743-64

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    Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:53:y:2000:i:n._3:p:743-64

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    Cited by:
    1. Jon Bakija & William Gale & Joel Slemrod, 2003. "Charitable Bequests and Taxes on Inheritance and Estates: Aggregate Evidence from Across States and Time," NBER Working Papers 9661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Atkinson, Anthony B. & Backus, Peter G. & Micklewright, John, 2012. "Charitable Bequests and Wealth at Death," IZA Discussion Papers 7014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. David Joulfaian, 2005. "Estate Taxes and Charitable Bequests: Evidence from Two Tax Regimes," Public Economics 0505004, EconWPA.
    4. James M. Poterba & Scott Weisbenner, 2000. "The Distributional Burden of Taxing Estates and Unrealized Capital Gains at the Time of Death," NBER Working Papers 7811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Poterba, James, 2001. "Estate and gift taxes and incentives for inter vivos giving in the US," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 237-264, January.
    6. Michael Rushton, 2008. "Who pays? Who benefits? Who decides?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 293-300, December.
    7. Gale, William & Slemrod, Joel, 2001. "Death Watch for the Estate Tax?," MPRA Paper 56440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. David Joulfaian, 2005. "Choosing Between Gifts and Bequests: How Taxes Affect the Timing of Wealth Transfers," NBER Working Papers 11025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Miguel Angel Barberán Lahuerta, 2006. "Redistribution and progressivity of taxes on inheritances and donations and analysis with data of panel," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 177(2), pages 25-55, April.

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