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Trump's Estate Tax Giveaway To Rich Triggered 50% Drop In The IRS Revenue

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Billionaires, meanwhile. have doubled their collective net worth to more than $5 trillion in just 5 years.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-18/ultra-rich-skip-estate-tax-and-spark-a-50-collapse-in-revenue

Revenue from the U.S. estate tax has been cut in half in two years, new data from the Internal Revenue Service shows, even as dynastic wealth soars.

Just 1,275 wealthy families paid $9.3 billion in estate tax to the U.S. Treasury in 2020. As recently as 2018, the IRS collected more than $20 billion from nearly 5,500 families.

The dramatic decline -- to the point where the tax is paid by 0.04% of dying Americans --
>is largely the result of the tax overhaul enacted by Republicans in 2017, which doubled the amount the wealthy can pass to heirs without triggering the levy.

Married couples can now transfer $23.4 million over their lifetimes tax-free, but families with vastly greater sums can hire sophisticated advisers to get around the tax. Nike Inc. founder Phil Knight used a variety of techniques to transfer billions of dollars to his family tax-free, according to a Bloomberg investigation last month.

The estate tax is “easy to minimize,” said Richard Greenberg, a lawyer at Greenberg & Schulman based in Woodbridge, New Jersey. “With the combination of the doubled exemption and all of the estate-planning techniques that are available, you can bleed a lot of money out of an estate and get a lot of wealth transferred.”

The estate tax’s haul of less than $10 billion now represents an imperceptible share of revenue for the federal government, which in the last fiscal year collected more than $4 trillion. The modern estate tax was introduced in 1916 to help counter the growth of dynastic wealth.

>Even before former President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers loosened estate tax rules, revenue from the levy had stagnated, despite a surge of wealth among the very richest.