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Should Wealth Transfers Be Taxed? Evidence from a Representative German Survey

Ivo Bischoff and Nataliya Kusa

Public Finance Review, 2019, vol. 47, issue 4, 635-661

Abstract: In a representative survey, German citizens are asked whether inherited wealth beyond a certain amount should be taxed. Almost 60 percent state that it should not be taxed. Building on this survey, we identify factors that predict this opposition to the taxation of inherited wealth. We find monetary self-interest, redistributive preferences, and the adherence to traditional values to matter. Women are more likely to oppose wealth transfer taxes. We account for interdependencies to other intrafamilial transfers. Subjects’ attitude toward wealth transfer taxes does not depend on their personal experience in giving long-term care. Yet subjects who expect the typical German family to reward intrafamilial caregiving through higher wealth transfers are less likely to oppose the taxation of inherited wealth. The opposite holds for subjects who expect these taxes to incentivize earlier inter vivos transfers.

Keywords: wealth transfer taxation; intergenerational transfers; citizens’ preferences; long-term care; family values (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:47:y:2019:i:4:p:635-661

DOI: 10.1177/1091142119845862

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