US Farms Subject to Estate Tax (2016)
The effort to repeal the estate tax for the wealthiest Americans is awash in misinformation and falsehoods.
- 99.8 percent of estates owe no tax according to the nonpartisan JCT.
- Only 80 small farms or businesses in the entire U.S. face estate tax according to the nonpartisan TPC.
- Only 0.4% of farm estates owe estate tax according to the USDA.
- The largest estates consist mostly of capital gains that have never been taxed [source: CBPP].
- U.S. estates are taxed less than most other market economies according to OECD nonpartisan data. See also CBPP analysis.
- Repealing the estate tax would increase the public debt and slow the economy.
- Repealing the estate tax would negatively impact our democracy by further concentrating wealth in fewer families.
Nonpartisan Reports on the Estate Tax
- TPC: Who Pays the Estate Tax 2017?
- CBPP: Ten Facts You Should Know About the Federal Estate Tax – Oct 2017
- CBPP: Repealing Federal Estate Tax Would Likely Deprive States of Needed Revenues – May 2017
- Lily Bathchelder, NYU Law School: The Silver Spoon Tax How to Strengthen Wealth Transfer Taxation – Oct 2016
- USDA: Only 0.4% of farm operator estates owed estate tax in 2015
- CRS: Recent Changes in the Estate and Gift Tax Provisions – April 13 2015
- JCT: Cost of Repealing the Estate Tax – March 2015
- JCT: History, Present Law, and Analysis of the Federal Wealth Transfer System – March 2015
- CRS: Estate and Gift Taxes Economic Issues – Jan 2007
- CBO: Effects of the Federal Estate Tax on Farms and Small Businesses – July 2005
- “Of all forms of taxation this seems the wisest. Men who continue hoarding great sums all their lives, the proper use of which for public ends would work good to the community from which it chiefly came, should be made to feel that the community . . . cannot thus be deprived of its proper share. By taxing estates…at death the State marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire.” —Andrew Carnegie, from The Gospel of Wealth (1901)