Institutional Affiliations: Twenty-first Securities and NYU Stern School of Business
|Choosing Between an Estate Tax and a Basis Carryover Regime: Evidence from 2010|
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Executors of estates for decedents in 2010 could choose between an estate tax regime and a basis carry-over regime. For most executors, this created a tradeoff between a current estate tax payment and a future capital gains tax liability for beneficiaries who inherited assets with carryover-basis. Various features of a decedent’s estate, including the gross value of assets, outstanding debts, whether the decedent resided in a state with an estate tax, and the basis of assets held at the time of death, affected the relative tax burden under the two regimes. Some executors chose to file estate tax returns for decedents from 2010, but these estate tax filings resulted in very little estate tax revenue. Estate tax filers had more leverage, were more likely to be from a state with an estate...
Published: Robert N. Gordon & David Joulfaian & James M. Poterba, 2016. "Choosing Between an Estate Tax and a Basis Carryover Regime: Evidence From 2010," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 69(4), pages 981-1002, December. citation courtesy of
|Revenue and Incentive Effects of Basis Step-Up at Death: Lessons from the 2010 "Voluntary" Estate Tax Regime|
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In 2010, the U.S. estate tax expired and executors of wealthy decedents were not required to file estate tax returns. In the absence of the estate tax, beneficiaries received assets with carryover rather than stepped-up basis. Unrealized capital gains accounted for 44 percent of the fair market value of non-cash assets in estates that chose the carryover basis regime, and an even higher percentage for some asset categories. Many of the largest gains were on assets that had been held for at least two decades.
Published: Robert Gordon & David Joulfaian & James Poterba, 2016. "Revenue and Incentive Effects of Basis Step-Up at Death: Lessons from the 2010 “Voluntary” Estate Tax Regime," American Economic Review, vol 106(5), pages 662-667. citation courtesy of