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Calculating Inheritance Tax

Calculating Inheritance Tax

FORM 706 Estate Tax Return
FORM 706 Instructions
Connecticut : (over $2mill:7.2~12.0%)(Gift Tax 12%)
Indiana : 20%
  Forms : Tax Return 
Iowa : 15%
  Forms : Tax Return 
Kentucky : 16%
Maryland : 10%
Nebraska : 18%
  Forms : Estate Tax Return (’03~’07)
New Jersey : 16%
  Forms : Tax Return Resident, Non-Resident 
Pennsylvania : 15%
  Forms : Application Tax Return Resident, Non-Resident
Tennessee : 9.5% (Gift Tax 16%)
  Forms : Tax Return Long form, Short form
States with ESTATE TAX :
Connecticut, Delaware, D.C, Hawaii,
Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts,
Minnesota, New York, North Carolina,
Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont,
Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska,
Pennsylvania, Tennessee.
States with GIFT TAX :
Connecticut, Tennessee
The inheritance tax, also referred to as the estate tax, is the taxation on assets received passed from a person who has died.  An inheritance tax is instituted in nations throughout the world, with both the United Kingdom and the United States requiring they be paid upon passage of property.  Different states in the United States even have their own inheritance taxes on top of Federal taxes.  These states include Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
How Inheritance Taxes are calculated
In the United States, the estate tax is determined by looking at the “entire estate” that is left after a person’s death.  This inheritance tax is also a part of the overall gift tax regulations, which means that the inheritance tax cannot be avoided by gifting properly before death, as similar tax consequences will be required.
1. The Gross Estate
The gross estate, which determines how much property and assets will be subject to tax, will often include much more than is devised through a will or probate.  In its simplest form, the gross estate consists of all property owned by the decedent at the time of his or her death.  The gross estate includes:
– Property or assets the decedent transferred up to 3 years prior to their death.
– Annuities in the descendant’s name.
– The value of jointly owned property, with special rules for property co-owned by a spouse.
2. Deductions Allowed from the Estate Tax
Once the value of the gross estate is determined, numerous deductions can be made before the tax rate is applied.  The following are some deductions that will be made:
– Estate administration expenses and funeral expenses.
– Qualifying charitable donations.
– Property left to a surviving spouse.
– Property left in a qualified domestic trust.
3. Exemption from Federal Inheritance Tax
Recently, the inheritance tax in the United States has gone through many changes.  In 2010, the Federal Estate Tax was not renewed, therefore no estates were taxed if the decedents died during the 210 tax year.  For 2011, Congress re-enacted the tax, however all estates will gross estate values of less than $5 Million are exempt from the estate tax.  Estates that are over the $5 Million mark are taxed at 35%, but only for the amount over $5 Million.
4. State Specific Inheritance Taxes
While the federal inheritance tax does not affect most estates, as most estates will fall under the $5 Million exemption, some states do impose their own estate tax.  State estate taxes vary greatly, so it is important that you look into your specific state’s laws before making estate planning decisions.  Some states mirror the federal exemption, however many states with their own inheritance taxes will impose taxes even if no federal taxes will be imposed.
Legal Issues of the Inheritance Tax
While the inheritance tax is set for the 2011 and 2012 years, it is uncertain how they will be dealt with after the law expires.  The estate tax laws have been change 19 times in 35 years, requiring estate planning professionals to change the estate planning of their clients very often.

Calculating Inheritance Tax: Understanding the Basics and Latest Updates

Inheritance tax is a tax levied on the value of an estate that is received by an individual after someone passes away. It is important for heirs and beneficiaries to understand the basics of calculating inheritance tax, as well as the latest updates in inheritance tax laws in the United States.

The federal government does not currently impose an inheritance tax in the United States. However, several states have established their own inheritance tax laws. As of 2021, these six states include Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

The inheritance tax in these states is calculated based on the relationship of the beneficiary to the deceased. For example, Nebraska imposes different tax rates on transfers to direct family members (3%) versus transfers to non-related individuals (18%). In Iowa and Kentucky, there is a flat tax rate of 16% and 18%, respectively, imposed on the fair market value of the estate transferred to each beneficiary.

The latest update to inheritance tax laws was made in the state of New Jersey, with the implementation of the New Jersey Estate and Inheritance Tax Act. This new law eliminated the state’s estate tax for those who passed away in 2018 or later. However, the state’s inheritance tax remains intact and imposes tax rates ranging from 11% to 16% for those who inherit over $500,000 from decedents who were not immediate family members.

To calculate inheritance tax, it is necessary to first determine the value of the estate. The value of the estate is typically determined by an appraiser and includes all assets and properties owned by the deceased person. Once the value of the estate has been determined, the inheritance tax can be calculated based on the tax rates for each state, as well as the relationship of the beneficiary to the deceased.

It is important to note that some states may offer exemptions to inheritance tax. For example, in Iowa, immediate family members and lineal descendants are exempt from inheritance tax. In Kentucky, the state may offer an exemption for assets passed down to a spouse.

As inheritance tax laws can vary greatly between states, it is important to seek the guidance of a legal or financial professional when dealing with inheritance tax. Additionally, it is important to plan ahead when considering estate planning to minimize inheritance tax liabilities for heirs and beneficiaries.

In conclusion, understanding the basics of calculating inheritance tax and the latest updates in inheritance tax laws in the United States can help heirs and beneficiaries avoid unexpected financial burdens. By consulting with professionals and planning ahead, individuals can minimize their inheritance tax liabilities and create a more secure future for themselves and their loved ones.

Inheritance tax is a tax imposed on the transfer of property and assets from a deceased person to their heirs or beneficiaries. In the United States, the federal government does not impose an inheritance tax, but some states do have their own inheritance tax laws. Here’s what you need to know about calculating inheritance tax in the United States.

States with an Inheritance Tax

Currently, six states have an inheritance tax: Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. These states vary in terms of their tax rates and exemptions. Iowa and Kentucky have a flat rate of 16% and 18%, respectively, while Maryland and New Jersey have a progressive tax rate that increases with the value of the property transferred. In Nebraska and Pennsylvania, inheritance tax rates are based on who the property is transferred to, with lower rates for transfers to immediate family members.

Calculating Inheritance Tax

To calculate inheritance tax in states that impose it, you need to determine the value of the property or assets being transferred. This includes any cash, real estate, investments, and other assets that are part of the estate. You also need to know who the property is being transferred to, as tax rates may vary depending on the relationship between the deceased and their heirs.

Once you have determined the value of the property being transferred and the applicable tax rate, you can calculate the tax owed on the inheritance. In some cases, exemptions may apply that reduce or eliminate the amount of inheritance tax due. For example, some states may exempt transfers to immediate family members or transfers below a certain value.

Estate Tax

In addition to inheritance tax, there is also an estate tax that applies to the transfer of property at the time of death. Unlike inheritance tax, estate tax is levied on the entire value of the estate, not just the portion being transferred to specific heirs. However, the federal government imposes an estate tax only on estates valued at over $11.7 million, making it unlikely that most Americans will need to pay this tax.


Calculating inheritance tax in the United States can be complex, with varying tax laws and exemptions depending on the state. It’s essential to seek professional advice to ensure that you understand your obligations and rights as a beneficiary. Additionally, it’s important to note that inheritance tax in the United States is relatively rare, with only six states currently imposing this tax. However, estate tax is still a consideration for high-value estates that exceed the federal exemption limit. Planning ahead for inheritance and estate tax can help ensure that your assets are passed down as intended and that your beneficiaries are not burdened with unnecessary taxes.