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... was that a gift tax, taxing the recipient rather than the estate, would be able to prevent the perpetuation of the present aristocracy of wealth (in my terms, not the authors) ... at the time (the late 1980's, their analysis was that progressive cumulative lifetime gift income of 0% on the first $1m, 25% on the second $1m, 50% on the third $1m, 75% on the fourth $1m and 100% over that point would prevent financial fortunes from being self-perpetuating.

Given inflation since then, the amounts would be higher, but the same principle would apply.

If a multi-billionaire elects to will their estate a very large number of $1m chunks, they could, indeed, entirely avoid having inheritance tax paid on the amount.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jan 22nd, 2012 at 01:16:02 PM EST

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