As Republicans bellyache about Democrats not balancing the budget, a new report reveals that a massive Trump administration estate tax giveaway that particularly served the ultra-rich sparked a 50% plunge in IRS revenue from the taxes.
Estate tax payments dropped from $20 billion to just over $9 billion last year, Bloomberg reported, based on its analysis of IRS data.
American billionaires, meanwhile, have doubled their collective net worth to more than $5 trillion in just over five years.
The “dramatic decline” in estate tax revenue is largely the result of the Republicans’ 2017 tax overhaul, which doubled the amount the wealthy can pass to heirs without paying any estate tax, Bloomberg noted.
Married couples can now transfer $23.4 million over their lifetimes tax-free.
But the ultra-wealthy can also afford to hire high-end attorneys and other advisers to squeeze even more out of the system.
In just one example, Nike founder Phil Knight used various strategies to transfer billions of dollars to his family tax-free, Bloomberg revealed last month in an investigation.
Democrats had discussed trimming back some of the massive Trump tax giveaways to the wealthy in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better package. But those didn’t make the cut in the final bill passed by the House on Friday.
Bloomberg said the $10 billion estate tax collected now by the federal government is an “imperceptible” portion of the total $4 trillion revenue collected by the federal government.
The estate tax is viewed as one of the most efficient and direct ways to shave off government revenue from billionaire dynasties.