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On the Taxation of Private Transfers

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  • Louis Kaplow

Abstract

This essay considers the appropriate conceptual framework for assessing the taxation of private transfers to individuals. Although it is conventional to emphasize the role of estate and gift taxation or inheritance taxation in redistributing income from the rich to the poor, the revenue effects of transfer taxation, and its distortionary effect on labor supply and savings, it is suggested in line with some recent work that the dominant focus should be on positive and negative externalities attributable to giving. The fundamental reason is that transfer tax reform can be combined with adjustments to other aspects of the fiscal system, notably the income tax, so as to keep constant most effects other than externalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Louis Kaplow, 2010. "On the Taxation of Private Transfers," NBER Working Papers 15818, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15818
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15818.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Ivo Bischoff & Nataliya Kusa, 2015. "Policy preferences for inheritance taxation," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201531, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Ivo Bischoff & Nataliya Kusa, 2017. "Citizens‘ preferences for a tax exemption for caregivers in inheritance taxation – an empirical analysis using German survey data," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201704, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. Ivo Bischoff & Nataliya Kusa, 2016. "Citizens‘ preferences for a tax exemption for caregiving heirs – an empirical analysis," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201621, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law

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