Social, Fiscal and Legal Aspects of the Inheritance Tax

November 28, 1924

Report Outline
Special Focus

Proposed Conference

President Coolidge has announced his intention to call in the near future a conference of the commissioners of the revenue of the several States, or such tax officials as may be designated, for the purpose of considering problems presented by the federal and State Inheritance, estate or succession taxes. The United States and forty six States now Impose such taxes. There is a striking lack of uniformity among the laws. Overlapping of taxes, resulting in double and triple taxation, and many problems of tax theory and administrant-ion are scheduled for discussion at the proposed conference.

Nature of Tax

An inheritance tax partakes of a dual nature; it is a measure for the production of revenue and, perhaps of greater importance, an instrument of social organization, partially punitive or at least corrective in nature.

Until recently, the United States has imposed such taxes for revenue only and, upon the disappearance of the urgent need for extraordinary revenue, these taxes have been repealed. In recent years there has sprung up a fresh tendency to employ the tax for more purely social purposes. Proponents of the tax have asserted that it possesses a value in the exercise of a leveling effect upon vast fortunes and this aspect of the impost now is regarded by many as its most Important one.

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