Wealth transfer tax (on gifts and inheritance)


What is it?
A tax on all the inheritances and gifts, above a certain threshold, that are received during an individual’s lifetime.
What is the problem that this change would seek to address?
An unfairness is created if some people enjoy greater wealth and opportunities than others not through their own efforts but thanks to unearned gifts. A wealth transfer tax can ensure that small gifts and inheritances go untaxed (below a certain threshold) but larger ones are taxed, and the revenues redistributed to those not fortunate enough to inherit money.
What are the advantages?
Since it taxes unearned income, a wealth transfer tax is arguably the most just or fair of all taxes.
What are the disadvantages?
It can be politically difficult, because many people quite reasonably want to pass on some wealth to their children, and wrongly believe that a wealth transfer tax would prevent this.