Graduation Year

Fall 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

James D. Taylor

Reader 2

Gregory Hess

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© 2012 Elsa Cheng


Estate tax should be abolished. Most pertinently, it is one of the most inefficient taxes in the United States federal tax system. The amount of revenue it takes in is actually offset by the actual costs of collecting the tax itself. From a purely economic standpoint, the estate tax should be abolished and revenue should be made from increasing rates on other taxable sources. While it does seem fair to tax simply on transfers of wealth, which typically impacts more the beneficiary than the decedent, it is simply not an efficient way to gather revenue. The tax benefit for charitable donations is good for society as a whole and helps redistribute wealth, but this incentive is present in the federal income tax system and can be increased to make up for the loss from abolishing the estate tax.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.