Argument: Charitable givings would fall if estate tax banned


A 2003 study by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center Concluded that an Estate Tax repeal would reduce annual charitable giving in life and at death by about $10 billion, the equivalent of eliminating all current grant-making by the country’s 110 largest foundations.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities corroborated the above predictions, estimating that “if there had been no estate tax in 2000, charitable donations would have been between $13 billion to $25 billion lower than they actually were.” [1]

A private study of 112 people with assets of $5 million or greater drew hese results: “Taking current law into account, the respondents said they expected 16 percent of their estates to go to charity, 47 percent to heirs, and 37 percent to taxes, Schervish wrote in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. But when asked how they preferred to divide their estates, respondents said they would give 26 percent to charity, 64 percent to heirs and 9 percent to taxes.” [2]