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Fair Inheritance Taxation in the Presence of Tax Planning

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  • Wrede, Matthias

Abstract

This paper analyzes to what extent tax planning impacts on the level of the inheritance tax rate perceived as fair. In a factorial survey conducted in Germany it finds out that tax planning increases the fair tax rate by roughly 4 percentage points. The fair tax rate is not only determined by the size of the bequest, the relationship of the heir to the bequeather, and the type of bequest, but also by the perceived intentions of the bequeather. The families with social motives should be taxed less than those without. The paper looks for support in optimum-tax theory. To this end, it develops a simple model that shows that taxation should not prevent individuals with warm-glow-of-giving motives to contribute substantially more to the social good than individuals without these motives.

Suggested Citation

  • Wrede, Matthias, 2013. "Fair Inheritance Taxation in the Presence of Tax Planning," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79731, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79731
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
    2. Kirchler, Erich & Maciejovsky, Boris & Schneider, Friedrich, 2003. "Everyday representations of tax avoidance, tax evasion, and tax flight: Do legal differences matter?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 535-553, August.
    3. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2007. "Bequest and Tax Planning: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1801-1854.
    4. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "A Theory of Optimal Inheritance Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(5), pages 1851-1886, September.
    5. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2003. "Capital income taxation when inherited wealth is not observable," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(11), pages 2475-2490, October.
    6. repec:bla:ecnote:v:46:y:2017:i:3:p:409-410 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
    8. Gale, William G. & Slemrod, Joel, 2001. "Rhetoric and Economics in the Estate Tax Debate," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(3), pages 613-627, September.
    9. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    10. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    11. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    12. Diamond, Peter, 2006. "Optimal tax treatment of private contributions for public goods with and without warm glow preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 897-919, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. James R Hines Jr & Niklas Potrafke & Marina Riem & Christoph Schinke, 2015. "Inter vivos transfers of ownership in family firms," Working Papers 1523, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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