‘Accidental' Tax Break Saves Wealthiest Americans $100 Billion

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Sheldon Adelson makes no secret of his disdain for the estate tax.
“How many times do you have to pay taxes on money?” the casino magnate asks, leaning on a blue cane on the cobblestones of Wall Street on a crisp October morning.
A gravel-voiced man whose accent recalls his blue-collar Boston roots, Adelson, 80, has just rung the bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of his Las Vegas Sands Corp. are at a five-year high, making him one of the world's richest men, worth more than $30 billion.
Federal law requires billionaires such as Adelson who want to leave fortunes to their children to pay estate or gift taxes of 40 percent on those assets. Adelson has blunted that bite by exploiting a “loophole” that Congress unintentionally created and that the Internal Revenue Service unsuccessfully challenged.