Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2005:6: Tax Avoidance and Intra-Family Transfers

Katarina Nordblom () and Henry Ohlsson ()
Additional contact information
Katarina Nordblom: Department of Economics, Postal: Göteborg University, PO Box 640, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden
Henry Ohlsson: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: To what extent do people avoid taxes on intra-family transfers (bequests and gifts), and how would integration (unification) of the different transfers taxes affect tax avoidance? These issues are important for families and their welfare, as well as for governments and their possibilities of raising revenue from transfer taxes. In this paper we study the effects of transfer taxes on altruistic parents’ transfers to their children. Using a theoretical model we find that altruistic parents do not necessarily tax minimize. However, in some cases when they do, there is an infinitely large excess burden of a transfer tax. We also find that integration of transfer taxes reduces tax avoidance. All tax avoidance is eliminated with complete integration.

Keywords: tax avoidance; bequests; inheritances; inter vivos gifts; altruism

JEL-codes: D10; D64; D91

25 pages, February 15, 2005

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