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Study Finds Taxing Unrealized Gains Among Most Harmful Revenue Policies Considered

When the House Ways and Means Committee produced its components of the Build Back Better Act, it omitted a proposal to tax unrealized capital gains at the time of a person’s death. A recent study from global tax, accounting and advisory firm EY may help explain why. The analysis, examining five major tax proposals that were under discussion, found that taxing these gains at death, paired with an increase in the capital gains rate, provided little in terms of benefits. It would do significant economic harm, while generating relatively little revenue to offset all that pain. As the report, produced for the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, lays out, this policy is “the most economically harmful in terms of their adverse impact on GDP per dollar of revenue either over the 10- year budget window or in the long run.”

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