2004. Paper Website abstract bibtex
In the current debate on the fundamental modernisation of income tax it is often forgotten that inheritance tax has also long been on the reform agenda. The present undervaluation of real estate and commercial assets is an infringement of the principle of equal and uniform taxation. At its present volume of around 3 billion euros inheritance tax only accounts for less than 1% of total tax revenues in Germany, but the trend is upward. The data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) compiled by DIW Berlin in conjunction with Infratest Sozialforschung now makes it possible to give estimates of the annual volume of inherited assets in a breakdown by socio-demographic factors. According to the SOEP estimates, around 1.5% of all private households in Ger- many currently have an annual increase in assets of on average 65 000 euros from inheritance. Just under a fur- ther one percent of all households receive annual gifts of on average 30 000 euros. These transfers amount to income to private households of about 50 billion euros annually, which is more than 2% of GDP.