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Ideas and Opinions |

Death and Taxes

G. Stuart Mendenhall, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Acknowledgment: The author thanks Drs. Mark Schmidhofer and Michael Mathier for their assistance in reviewing this manuscript.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: G. Stuart Mendenhall, MD, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Cardiovascular Institute, Scaife Hall S-553, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; e-mail, gsmenden@post.harvard.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(11):822-824. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-149-11-200812020-00010
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Tax incentives can provide a large financial impetus to change behavior. Current U.S. law establishes a substantial discontinuity in the amount of estate tax that many patients will have to pay in 2010: During this year only, the tax rate drops to zero. This article discusses concerns regarding the sharp change in tax rate and the incentives it creates for persons who are nearing the end of life and provides estimates of the number of people affected by this issue.


taxes ; incentives





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