estate tax

noun

Definition of estate tax

: a tax in the form of a percentage of the taxable estate that is imposed on a property owner's right to transfer the property to others after his or her death — compare inheritance tax sense 1

Examples of estate tax in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Also, Ohio phased out the estate tax, which also benefitted municipalities, at the end of 2012. Bob Sandrick, cleveland.com, "Broadview Heights voters to decide Nov. 5 whether to renew police tax; early voting starts Oct. 8," 29 Aug. 2019 The estate tax simply does not raise a lot of revenue, thanks to its narrow tax base, already high tax rate, and significant economic costs. Rachel Greszler, National Review, "Taxing Inheritances Won’t Fix Social Security," 9 July 2019 Advertising The campaign estimates this will cost $315 billion over a decade, paid for by strengthening the estate tax and closing tax loopholes that benefit the rich. Juana Summers, The Seattle Times, "Kamala Harris promises teachers a raise if elected president," 26 Mar. 2019 The Liberal government that took power in Britain in 1904 took steps to protect the rights of labor, passed old age pensions, levied heavy estate taxes and broke the power of the House of Lords to block legislation. David Kaiser, Time, "Donald Trump and Boris Johnson Rode the Same Wave Into Power. History Suggests the Parallels Won’t Stop There," 26 July 2019 Oregon certainly has an estate tax (one of the highest in the U.S.) and Washington also has one. Liz Weston | Nerdwallet.com, oregonlive.com, "Liz Weston: Estate and inheritance taxes are not the same," 16 June 2019 Oregon certainly has an estate tax (one of the highest in the U.S.) and Washington also has one. Liz Weston, latimes.com, "How to boost your credit score before you buy a house," 9 June 2019 Neither Norway nor Sweden has an estate tax, and there is a move to abolish Denmark’s 15% rate. Karl W. Smith, Twin Cities, "Karl W. Smith: Billionaires aren’t the problem," 23 June 2019 New Jersey had an estate tax, but that was repealed in 2018, leaving Maryland as the only state with both types of tax. Liz Weston | Nerdwallet.com, oregonlive.com, "Liz Weston: Estate and inheritance taxes are not the same," 16 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'estate tax.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of estate tax

1928, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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The first known use of estate tax was in 1928

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More Definitions for estate tax

estate tax

noun

Financial Definition of estate tax

What It Is

An estate tax is levied on assets inherited by the heirs to a deceased person's estate.

How It Works

The estate tax is applied differently according to U.S. Federal and state laws as well as international law. Typically, estate taxes are only levied once a certain threshold, known as the exclusion limit, has been reached.

Estate taxes are not applicable if a person bequeaths (transfers) the assets from the estate to a living spouse. This type of transfer is known as the unlimited marital deduction. However, in the event that the spouse dies, the beneficiaries may be required to pay estate taxes if the exclusion limit is exceeded.

[InvestingAnswers Featured Article: A Simple Plan to Avoid Estate Taxes]

Why It Matters

Estate taxes, like other taxes on unearned incomes, are a source of revenue for governments that use it to finance various projects. The issue of the estate tax has become highly politicized, and it is sometimes referred to as the "death tax" by people who oppose it.

But estate taxes are not inevitable. In the U.S., there are many different estate planning techniques that individuals can use to reduce the size of their taxable estates.

[InvestingAnswers Tutorial: Reduce Your Federal Estate Tax With These 4 Powerful Estate Planning Tools]

Source: Investing Answers

estate tax

noun

English Language Learners Definition of estate tax

: a tax that you pay on the money and other property that comes to you because someone has died : a tax on an estate that you inherit

estate tax

noun

Legal Definition of estate tax

: an excise in the form of a percentage of the taxable estate that is imposed on a property owner's right to transfer the property to others after his or her death

called also succession tax

— see also unified transfer tax — compare gift tax, inheritance tax

More from Merriam-Webster on estate tax

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with estate tax

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about estate tax

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