Gift and estate taxes: The case for deunification

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the last half a century, the federal gift tax has been relegated virtually out of existence. There are many reasons that the gift tax has met this fate, including the current size of the lifetime tax exemption amount and the fact that noncompliance has gone largely unchecked. However, the real culprit in the subversion of the gift tax is the academic community: several decades ago, in the name of theoretical tidiness, it prodded Congress to amalgamate the estate and gift taxes into a unified whole. In retrospect, this exercise has proven to be a blunder that needs to be undone. This analysis charts how Congress can resurrect the federal gift tax and restore it to its former vibrancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-479
Number of pages41
JournalHarvard Journal of Legislation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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