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Estate Planning News
Death Tax Laws Once A Death Occurs
Income Tax: Even after death, federal income taxes are still due by the April 15 deadline, just as they would be if the person was alive. If the information needed to file the tax return is not available, an extension can be requested from the Internal Revenue Service.
Obtain A Copy Of The Free IRS Booklet, "Tax Information For Survivors And Executors And Administrators", Publication 559.
Download Publication 559. (734K) Adobe PDF
Other forms: The FedWorld site contains more than 15,000 data files that have been produced by U.S. Government agencies, including; Federal Job Announcements, White House press releases, IRS tax forms and instructions and Cancer information. The directory index listings on this site are updated daily.
For further information, contact the nearest IRS taxpayer information services listed under United States, Internal Revenue Service in your telephone directory.
Property taxes are also due at the same time and in the same manner as if the deceased person was still alive. After the transfer of property, the deceased's estate has no further obligation, and the taxes are paid by the person who received the property. Contact your county treasurer's office for more information on property taxes.
Federal Estate Taxes:
The federal government assesses a tax based on the value of the deceased person's estate. For deaths occurring in the year 2002, a federal estate tax return has to be filed only if the total value of the deceased person's estate exceeds $1,000,000. Please note that the federal filing threshold will change several times over the next few years. IF THE ESTATE IS REQUIRED TO FILE A FEDERAL TAX RETURN, IT MUST BE FILED AND ALL TAXES PAID WITHIN NINE MONTHS OF THE DATE OF DEATH.
The tax will be based on the following:
All property in which the deceased had an interest at death Large gifts prior to death Life insurance proceeds, unless ownership was transferred more than three years prior to death or the decedent never actually owned the policy. Half of the value of the community property All property held separately from community property THE "MARITAL DEDUCTION" - The value of most property which passes to a surviving spouse is deducted from the value of the estate. Check with the IRS or a financial advisor for information on what can and cannot be subtracted from the estate under the marital deduction.
Washington State Estate Tax:
Washington levies an estate tax. For deaths occurring after December 31, 2001, the state of Washington has different estate tax reporting requirements than the federal government. In the year 2002, estates with a gross value between $700,000 and $999,999 must file an estate tax return with the state of Washington, but are not required to file with the federal government. The reporting thresholds for both the state of Washington and the federal government will change several times over the next few years.
If you have any questions regarding Washington's estate tax, please contact the Department of Revenue's Estate Tax Section at (360) 753-5547 or (360) 753-7518. The revised Washington Sate Estate Tax Return and instructions are available on the Department of Revenue's web site at www.dor.wa.gov.
IF YOU HAVE TO FILE…BE AWARE The estate tax applies to estates of Washington residents and non-residents with property in Washington.
It includes real estate and other tangible property including motor homes, boats and cars.
The state estate tax is due nine months from the date of death.
Federal law, as it existed on January 1, 2001, set the rate and amount to be paid in state estate tax.
Tables to determine the state estate tax due are found in WAC 458-57-015 or on the state estate tax return forms.
If a federal return must be filed, submit the return with proper evidence that the state estate taxes have been paid. A portion of that amount may be deducted from the federal taxes due.
When you pay your state estate taxes, the state will give you a receipt for payment to send to the IRS, if a federal return must be filed.
Release of state tax liability comes only after the personal representative of the estate forwards a copy of the federal estate tax closing letter or IRS audit report to the Department of Revenue. Or for those estates that are not required to file a federal return, when the correct amount of estate tax due to the state has been paid. Gift Tax:
There is no Washington State gift tax. Therefore, any gift transferred after January 1, 1982, will not be taxed under Washington State law. It may, however, still be taxable under existing federal tax law. INFORMATION AND STATE TAX FORMS CAN BE OBTAINED FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE.
Generation Skipping Transfer Tax
Washington State taxes certain generation-skipping transfers. If you have any questions regarding the generation-skipping transfer tax, please contact the Department of Revenue's Estate Tax Section at (360) 753-5547 or (360) 753-7518.
A Will, is sometimes called a "Last Will and Testament"
Used to transfer property you hold in your name to the person(s) and/or organization(s) you want to have it. A Will also typically names someone you select to be your Personal Representative (or "Executor") to carry out your instructions and names a Guardian if you have minor children. A Will only becomes effective upon your death, and after it is admitted to probate.
Latest news about Financial & Estate Planning in South Carolina and nationwide:
A person's permanent legal residence. While a person may have more than one residence, he or she can have only one domicile. Typically, the domicile is the same place you use for purposes of voter registration.
Family Limited Partnership
A legal partnership agreement between members of a family for the management and control of property for the benefit of family members. Sometimes used to minimize transfer taxes.
Property owned by two or more people in a manner such that upon death of one of the joint owners, all of his/her interest in the property is transferred immediately, by operation of law, to the other surviving owners.
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