Case To Stop Mollycoddling The Rich?
- Estate tax is based on the fair assessment of the value of all assets in which the deceased held a stake at the time of death.
- Thought to bring about social equity by taking away a part of inherited or unearned income.
- Government can use the resources generated to fund social programmes.
- In other countries, estate tax has led to more trusts for philanthropic activities.
- But estate tax assessment has to be simple, transparent and not too high to ensure better compliance from the super-rich.
No tax is popular. But an estate tax—also dubbed inheritance tax or death duty—is particularly disliked in many countries. It taxes those with the most to lose, the super-rich. That’s the reason, cynics argue, the oracle of high finance, Warren Buffett, can cite how many wealthy families in the US have so far pledged large chunks of their wealth to philanthropy. It is, after all, a means to spare heirs the burden of the estate tax, which can reach up to 45 per cent in the US for individuals with assets more than $3.5 million.