As wealth inequality grows, is it time for an Indian inheritance tax?

Country had had 20 billionaires at the last count: more than some other major economies

Sachin P Mampatta Mumbai

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Billionaire Bill Gates, in a 2019 interview, supported bringing back a regulation in the US to require the super-rich to pay a 55 per cent tax when they inherit their family fortune.

Proponents of an inheritance or estate tax say it reduces inequality and creates a meritocratic society by chipping away at the enormous advantages the children of the wealthiest families enjoy by an accident of birth. Many large economies levy such a tax on their richest citizens; India does not.

Large inheritances are taxed at 40 per cent in the US and the UK. Germany is at 50 per cent, Japan at 55 per cent and France at 60 per cent. Even Brazil and South Africa levy some form of inheritance or estate tax, but at lower rates.


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First Published: Jan 20 2023 | 12:21 PM IST

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