John Irons's Blog


Economic News, Data and Analysis

Estate tax

A quick note on the calculation of the estimated number of blacks that have to pay the estate tax. (Cited here and here.)
Prof. Ed Wolff in an American Prospect article in 2001 was cited as analyzing some data from the SCF:

“This year only about 47,500 estates in the entire country will face the estate tax. The government doesn’t break that figure into racial categories. But according to research by Edward N. Wolff, a professor of economics at New York University, the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances revealed that less than one-third of 1 percent of black heirs will face the estate tax this year. At TAP’s request, Wolff cross-referenced that figure with recent mortality rates from the National Center for Health Statistics to determine how many families among those 47,500 are black. The answer: 223.”

From a Center on Budget Report, The State of the Estate Tax as of 2006, (which used data from the Tax Policy Center), there were and estimated 12,600 taxable estates in 2006, (see table 1), and “about 7,000” in 2009.
Using these figures, and the share of black estates from Wolff (and assuming the same share of estates are black), you get 59 estates in 2006, and 33 in 2009.


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