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Deathbed tax planning

Oscar Erixson and Sebastian Escobar

Journal of Public Economics, 2020, vol. 185, issue C

Abstract: We estimate the extent of inheritance tax avoidance among married decedents in Sweden. Following Kopczuk (2007), we compare estates of decedents who pass away from terminal illness and those of decedents who pass away suddenly, the assumption being that the onset of terminal illness triggers planning. Extending on Kopczuk (2007), we also use exogenous variation in the incentives for tax planning created by an inheritance tax repeal in Sweden, which allows us to account for factors related to illness that may affect the estate value but are unrelated to tax planning (e.g., increased medical expenditures and lost income). Unlike earlier studies, we find no evidence of end-of-life inheritance tax planning, suggesting that this was of little importance in the setting we study.

Keywords: Tax avoidance; Tax reform; Terminal illness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H26 H31 D64 D14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104170

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