The Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA'86) provided for the most dramatic changes to the Internal Revenue Code since its inception over seventy years ago. The stated purposes of these reforms were to promote "fairness, simplicity, and economic growth." The short-term success of these measures has yet to be ascertained.

It is the position of this article that the long-term prospects for ultimate individual tax reform cannot be divorced from an eventual restructuring of the present federal wealth transfer taxation system, currently consisting of the estate, gift, and generation-skipping taxes. Genuine tax reform will remain unfinished business until such time as these transfers are fully interwoven into a reconstituted individual taxation system. It is time for an integrated system which interpolates the best elements of the newly passed income tax reforms while at the same time jettisoning the cumbersome, complicated and inefficient elements of the present wealth transfer taxes. This proposal is offered in the hope of changing the direction of future research and discussion away from the patchwork repairs of the past towards a new integrated system of taxation.

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