Wednesday is Tax Day, and House Republicans are taking the opportunity to hold a vote to repeal the estate tax.
Republicans, who call the estate tax the “death tax,” and are calling the repeal bill the “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015.” In announcingthe planned vote, they said the bill was part of their effort to “make sure Americans keep more of their hard earned money.”
But a repeal of the estate tax, which applies to property transferred from the deceased to their heirs, would help out very few Americans. While the on-paper rate of taxation on estates is 40 percent, it only ends up applying to 1 percent of taxpayers thanks to a variety of exemptions. In 2013, just 4,700 estates owed taxes out of 2.6 million deaths, or one-fifth of one percent. The Center on Budget Policy Priorities estimates that only the wealthiest 0.2 percent, or just two out of every 1,000 estates, will owe the tax this year.