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Levy on the property accruing to each beneficiary of the estate of a deceased person. Inheritance tax may be more difficult to administer than estate tax because the value passing to each beneficiary must be fixed, and this often requires complex actuarial calculations. Inheritance taxes date back to the Roman Empire. In the U.S. inheritance taxes have always been collected by the individual states, while the federal government has imposed an estate tax. The first state inheritance tax was imposed by Pennsylvania in 1826.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on inheritance tax, visit Britannica.com.