Clinton and Trump Estate Tax Proposals

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump unsurprisingly have completely different plans for the country’s estate tax. While Trump wants to kill the estate tax, Clinton hopes to increase it. However, experts believe that any changes made to the policy will have a minimal impact on tax receipts under the Clinton proposal. This is because the estate taxes had a minimal contribution to revenue over the last several years.

Research from the IRS indicates that the estate tax generated a total of $16.4 billion in 2014, but that is a significant decrease from 2006 when the revenue was $24.6 billion. When compared with years gone by, the revenue from the estate tax has decreased even further. For example, up to 8% of all debts resulted in triggering the estate tax in 1976. However, in 2011, that number dropped to 0.13%. Estate taxes in total make up less than 1% of the country’s revenue as shared by The Tax Foundation.

The number of exemptions is the leading reason behind the decline for revenue. In 1976 the states were responsible for paying taxes on anything valued more than $60,000, however, the threshold today is at $5.5 million for individual estates. The highest estate tax rate has also decreased. The 1981 numbers were 71% but that dropped to 55% in 2000 and is now sitting at 40% today.


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