Should we do away with the estate tax in the United States?

  • I think that since the estate paid taxes on the money when they earned it, the heirs should not have to pay again on their death.

    Each person has to pay taxes on their income, interest and property during their life. It is not fair to make the heirs again pay taxes on their property when they die, especially since anyone who inherits the money will then have to pay income taxes on that money in addition to having just paid an estate tax on it!

    Posted by: C0nrKentros
  • The government has already collected taxes on a person's income during his lifetime. Why do they want to tax him again at his death?

    This is not a fair tax. A person has the right to have his assets handed down to his heirs without having it be taxed. This is just a basic human right and I am appalled that the estate tax is still in force. It's too high at 45% and may increase to 55% in the future. That is awful! Why should the heirs have to be taxed on what is rightfully theirs anyway?

    Posted by: JeffP4ri5
  • Taxes are already too high for successful people.

    A person's estate should pass down to their heirs as they intend it to do without tax penalty. The person has already paid taxes on the estate as they earned it - why should government get yet another piece after they're dead? Estate taxes are just one more layer of complexity on top of a process that is already fraught with emotion and problems. Government should keep it's hands off.

    Posted by: laceymarya
  • Yes we should do away with the estate tax because I consider that double taxation, that money was already taxed.

    Yes we should do away with the estate tax because that money was already taxed so I consider that double taxation and I think people should be able to pass on estates and money to their family members without being taxed to the hilt. People are taxed enough when they are alive!

    Posted by: MycCra2ii
  • I oppose the estate tax because it does not seem fair to put this burden on the heirs.

    In many cases, the estate tax is levied on property that people have strived to keep for their heirs. In this case, I believe that the children and grandchildren should inherit the property without the burden of estate tax. Also, tax has already been paid on some of the income that is included in an estate. In this case, estate tax appears to be double taxation.

    Posted by: R0d0Ferdy
  • The IRS is trying to change how estate taxes are computed. The change could amount IMO to double taxation.

    The IRS is suing the Michael Jackson estate for 700 million dollars, almost the amount his estate has earned since death. When MJ died he was severely in debt. After MJ died the estate entered into some projects that turned out profitable after he died and the estate paid taxes on these profits. The IRS compliant says MJ image was undervalued to my understanding. They indicate the estates should have known what MJ's estimated future earnings could be in the future and paid estate taxes on that. One article said if the executors overpredicted his future profits and paid death taxes on that amount, if it turned out to be a flop, then the IRS would not refund the money. Since his estate has already paid the taxes on profits after he died from a project that was not even thought about or existed before he died the IRS seems to think the estate should have predicted those possible future earning and paid taxes on them when he died. That is double taxation.IMO Should executors be required to predict future earning so the IRS can tax this imaginary amount at death, and then charge huge penalties if the executor did not do this? Then tax it again if it does become profitable after death. The MJ case is still pending and the way it is ruled on can totally change how executors will have to figure taxes at death.

  • Of course it should be abolished!

    I speak more for the people that work hard for their money. Think about it - You put yourself through school, perhaps working full time as well, pay tuition, work hard at your career or business and pay your graduated taxes. You do all this with your family and future in mind so that they do not become a burden to society if they can help it. But then get taxed on whatever is left so that others who do not work as hard get to enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor? Makes no sense - we should all be working hard for our family and their future and maintain the residual after all income taxes have been paid - it's only fair. If your response will be that not everyone is as "lucky" then say that to someone like Oprah who came from nothing and worked hard despite adversity.

  • Estate tax is just another form of govt theft

    It should be the person who dies who makes the decision as to what is done with his/her money. If the liberal agenda had its way...It would take it all!
    So...You have worked hard your whole life and now you are dying....There goes your peace of mind as to making sure your loved ones are taken care of. How fair is that? The dying and soon to be dead person should have the final say. The estate tax....If you really think about it...Is a slap in the face and total disrespect of the dead or dying. Anyone who is above the current exemption amount should set up a large LI irrevocable trust with your loved ones as beneficiarys. You'll need to fund the trust so as to eventually pay the premiums. Then...Give away whats in your estate to charity when you pass. Yes...And you will see Uncle Sugar really get the finger on that deal! Go man go! You see libs...The smart successful man will still find a way around it.

  • Death tax stinks!

    Don't punish people for being successful!Im working my butt off since I'm 16 and have been paying taxes my whole life!Now when I die my kids will be taxed a great chunk,on money that was already taxed.All my family sacrificed building a buisness,working sixteen hour days,holidays etc.Success doesn't come easy,but if you work hard and make smart choices it's possible.So all these years breaking my butt I didn't know Uncle Sam was my partner!!!

  • We work hard for the continuing success of our family while alive, and for the family generations to come.

    We work hard while we are alive and only hope there is enough to pass on. We are taxed high as a lower level middle class and then to be highly taxed again on the same income means we have to work harder to leave something for our heirs. If my heirs choose not to be frugal, and spend the money... It is the economy that benefits (consumerism). Giving the money to gov't would only be an indirect growth in the economy at best.

  • I disagree that we should not do away with the estate tax, because the wealthy should owe, just like the rest of us.

    We should not do away with the estate tax, because wealthy people should not get to reap the benefits of not having to contribute anything. People who own elaborate estates should be taxed the exact same as you and I. This country acts like a bunch of financial babies, and is in need of a financial reality check.

    Posted by: BoundlessHomer49
  • I agree with the estate tax in the United States because it aids in preventing "old money" from continuing forever.

    Estate taxes are designed to prevent money from being passed down to future generations. There is a belief that a person should work for their good fortune. Allowing one to simply get money through death is directly against the hard work ethic in which Americans believe.

    Posted by: SqualidVaughn
  • Why would you support people getting money that they've never worked for?

    You're supposed to be taxed on gifts anyway and what bigger gift is some idiot leaving you a fortune you didn't work for? How is it even remotely ok that you have generations of wealth all because of some long forgotten ancestor? Sounds like the divine right of kings or similar lunacy.

  • The estate tax means more people get a fair chance to accumulate wealth.

    The estate tax currently prevents certain families from hoarding wealth for generation after generation. The gap between rich and poor is already widening, and there is a limited amount of money to go around. With the estate tax, some of the wealth can be redistributed from wealthy heirs who did not earn their money to needy children born into poverty.

    Posted by: babyuniqh
  • You can't take it with you

    To those who argue that you've already paid tax on the wealth when you earned it and you shouldn't have to pay again on death, what does it matter? You are already dead and gone at that point. The estate tax serves to return a portion of your wealth to society, which provided you the opportunity to earn that wealth in the first place. You earned it, you enjoyed it during your life, now it's gone! By pumping it back into society at large, rather than leaving it to your offspring, you're helping everyone. Your kids now have an incentive to learn and be productive rather than being the next Paris Hilton or jack Osborne. Society at large now has resources to invest in schools, research, medical care, etc. That can benefit everyone.

  • equality

    Think of it as a race of two children. One going through the schooling system trying to accomplish on his/her own knowing that they would not be able to fall back on his/her parent's income if they were to fail in school. However, on the other side there is a child that was born into the best situation and has a trust fund under their name and knows that inheritance is coming their way. This child will not work as hard to earn as good of a living knowing that their life is already set.

  • Use The Original Basis

    On someone's death, tax the estate using the basis. Thus, if Bill Gates was given 1 million shares his basis is 0 and his heirs will need to pay the capital gains on this. Or do not allow a step up basis on property as we do now. So when the heirs sell, they will have to use the original basis on their tax calculation.

  • This only effects those that have a TEN MILLION DOLLAR ESTATE

    So yes it should be kept the estate tax helps prevent or limit rich families from becoming landed gentry like we had in the old days. It helps level the playing field by limiting the advantage one can get from their ancestors. It is not about money for the government it is about helping control those factors that give some an unfair advantage. So to the rich heirs out there I guess you will have to be content with a couple million less. Life is so hard for you I know, you might have to hold off on the 100 million dollar yacht. Tears are littering my cheeks right now, life is so unjust lol.

  • It is not double tax

    It seams that the supporters of abolishing estate tax are repeating that it is a double tax over and over.

    The fallacy of this is that all money is taxed multiple times

    When your employer makes a profit they pay tax - does this mean that when you pay income tax it is wrong because it has already been taxed - no

    when you earn money you pay income tax - does this mean that anyone you pay for services does not pay tax because tax has already been paid on it - no

    When you earn money you pay income tax - does this mean that you don't need to pay taxes such as estate duty and fuel duty when you buy these things - no.

    All money is taxed multiple times, usually every time it changes hands so there is no reason why it should not be taxed when someone inherits it.


    Inheritance is fundamentally unfair. It allows some people to be given enough money that they can live a life of luxury, or never have to worry about how they are going to eat and pay the mortgage/rent, or have more opportunity to develop their skills and earning potential or simply make more money doing nothing at all (from investments/interests) while another person gets nothing no matter how great his/her needs are and as a result has to work multiple low paid jobs just to survive with no opportunity to invest in his own future in order to increase his earning potential.
    This gross inequality becomes even more unfair if the person earning money has to pay tax on it while the person who is given money for free does not.

  • The estate tax should be retained for fiscal and social justice reasons.

    Given the growth of debt facing the nation, tax revenue needs to be increased in the years to come, in the opinion of many economists and analysts. To remove this source of tax revenue at a time of exploding debt seems perverse. It is also important to retain the estate tax given the way levels of income inequality have skyrocketed while we have seen reduced income mobility. People from difficult economic backgrounds now have a smaller chance of moving into the middle class than they did a generation or two ago. It is unfair that one child should have so vast an advantage over another based on choices of the parents, or even the grandparents, of the children involved. To impose a healthy estate tax and dedicate the revenue to debt alleviation, improved social services, and investment in research is an important way to promote fairness, opportunity, and long-term growth.

    Posted by: M4I4cFeIine

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Anonymous says2013-07-03T14:36:01.190
The cited problem with this ideology is that the money earned has been taxed throughout a person’s life, and so to tax it again upon death is unfair.