What is the purpose of an inheritance tax when inheritance could be taxes like other income?

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The Politicus
Nov 19, 2022 10:17 PM 0 Answers
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Many countries have special laws regarding inheritance taxes. Why would this be treated separately when it could just be taxed equally to all other income?

Suppose Eve normally earns €50,000 per year. Due to an inheritance, one year, Eve earns €150,000. Why do we need an inheritance tax — one could just tax an income of €150,000?

We might want to tax income one has worked for less than income one has not worked for, but this could be organised by declaring both income from labour and total income separately. However, it seems rather that in some countries, inheritance income one hasn't worked for is taxed less than income from labour. I don't see how that makes sense. Eve is not a charity.

There is a related question, What ethical (if any) or economical arguments are offered in defense of the inheritance tax?, but that one is sort of the other way around, because the asker seems to imply that inheritances should be taxed less than income from labour. If there is no inheritance tax (Wikipedia lists various countries that have abolished them) it should be just taxed like all other income, I suppose.

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  • November 19, 2022