Estate Taxes and New Jersey Inheritance Tax



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“We had a serious traffic accident in June 2016 while visiting New Jersey. The young lady who hit us was completely at fault, yet her insurance company repeatedly refused to contact us or return our multiple attempts to contact them. Our principal insurance company also had difficulty getting a response from them. After 6 months of intransigence, we felt it necessary to hire a lawyer in New Jersey to get at least some compensation for our extra expenses. Richard Rinaldo achieved a very successful settlement which is 10 times greater than we were hoping. We never could have received that settlement without him. We strongly recommend Richard Rinaldo for any legal issues.”

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Understanding the federal and state estate tax system can be a daunting process, especially when accompanied by the passing of a loved one. The lawyers at Rinaldo Law Group are experienced in guiding families through the estate tax system and alleviating the complexities of paperwork and stress during this difficult time.

Federal Estate Taxes

The 2017 federal income tax reform legislation substantially increased the threshold at which a decedent’s estate is subject to federal estate taxes. The threshold at which assets can be taxed has been doubled to approximately $11 million ($22 million for married couples). In addition, the threshold will be indexed for inflation.

New Jersey Estate Taxes

In New Jersey, the estate tax will no longer be imposed on the decedents who pass away on or after January 1, 2018. This is a change from last year, when the state raised the estate tax exemption from $675,000 to $2 million, which meant the individual could pass on their property valued at up to $2 million to their heirs without being subject to tax liabilities. The rates varied depending on the value of the transfer and other factors (from 4.8% to 16%).

New Jersey’s Inheritance Tax
Although the New Jersey’s estate tax has been repealed, the inheritance tax still remains in effect. The executor, administrator or heir-at-law may be required to file an Inheritance Tax return. If so, it must be done within eight months of the day that the decedent passed away. If tax is due, then the tax on the transfer of taxable real or personal property must be paid within that eight-month period. Failure to do so will result in accruing interest at an annual rate of 10% on top of the amount of the unpaid tax.

If you are a close relative of the decedent (such as a surviving spouse, parent, child or grandchild), you owe no inheritance taxes. A spouse or partner of the decedent’s late children and a decedent’s siblings are exempt from the first $25,000, but the next $1,075,000 is taxed at 11%, then at 13% on the next $300,000 and again at 14% at the next $300,000, up to 16% for transfers over $1.7 million. Nonrelatives are taxed at 15% on the first $700,000 (unless the transfer is valued at less than $500) and at 16% over $700,000. Beneficiaries that are religious, institutional, governmental or nonprofit institutions are exempt from taxes.

If you have to pay inheritance taxes, you will need to submit an Inheritance Tax Return; if not, you may wish to file an Affidavit and Self-Executing Waiver with each financial institution to obtain the release or transfer of intangible personal assets, such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds and brokerage accounts. You may also file an Affidavit for Resident Decedent Requesting Real Property Tax Waiver(s) with the Tax Division to request the release of the state’s lien on any real property that belonged to the decedent.

You may file for an extension on the return, but you will not receive an extension to pay the tax. To request more time to file the return, you need to complete For IT-EXT, Inheritance and Estate Tax Application for Extension of Time to File a Return.

If you have any questions regarding estate planning, the probate of an estate, or New Jersey’s inheritance tax, contact our office by calling 1-833-RINALDO (833-746-2536) or fill out our contact form.

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