Law Faculty Articles and Research

Estate Tax Repeal: Historical Data Indicate Philanthropy May Suffer

Frank Doti, Chapman University

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Tax Notes, volume 99, 2003 following peer review.


Complete repeal of the federal estate tax is scheduled to take effect for a one year window during 2010. But what if the estate tax is repealed permanently? What effect would that have on testamentary charitable gifts from those who are no longer subject to the tax? Some planners suggest that with more to give, people might give more. Others argue that in the absence of a tax incentive, people will give less. In this article, Chapman University law professor Frank J. Doti examines the historical data to suggest an answer.