View Full Version : Death/Estate Tax vs Inheritance Tax vs No Tax

07-31-2010, 09:12 PM
I don't actually have any hard line on this so far, so where do you all come out on this?

My inclinations so far are to oppose an estate tax, support an inheritance, and be indifferent to no tax.

The estate tax rubs me the wrong way because it seems to imply that a persons money over a certain threshold they earn in life is nothing more than an account that the state gets to pilfer once they die. Yes the person is dead, but the wealth they amassed... whos is it? It is their wealth, not an extra income tap for the state to suck funds from. And so people who amass fortunes are nothing more than temporary custodians of the final tally of wealth, or at least a large portion of it.

At the same time, I kind of support an inheritance tax. This may be completely inconsistent, have not figured a way to justify it after the above smoothly. It sort of sounds like it is the same thing, but I am OK with the idea of money inherited being taxed just like normal income sources.

Not doing so seems.. wrong somehow. It basically says that money gifted/inherited over a certain threshold should be treated more benignly than money earned.

Do you all think there should be any distinction between "money made" and "money earned?"

The latter is precisely the thing we want to encourage and foster, the end results, the money itself is the product of productive work (in theory). The latter is taxed, by not taxing inherited money (the money made) are we not privileging non productive income gains over productive gains?

It seems a bit.. backwards.

No taxes neither irritates me or excites me. I am actually not all that concerned about the state getting any revenue at all from the taxes. If someone wanted to leave their fortune to some charities for example, I would be fine allowing that to be transferred tax free. The part that seems off to me is treating the income gained from inheritance on a less restrictive footing than income people actually work for and earn.