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Julie Garber

Estate Taxes by State - Does West Virginia Have an Estate Tax?

By February 20, 2010

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Does West Virginia have an estate tax? The answer is no, currently West Virginia does not collect a state estate tax, although things were different a few years ago before major changes took effect with regard to federal estate tax laws. Prior to January 1, 2005, West Virginia, like many other states, collected a separate state estate tax, called a "pick up tax," that was actually equal to a portion of the overall federal estate tax bill.

On January 1, 2005, the pick up tax was officially phased out under the provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act ("EGTRRA"). Since then 18 states and the District of Columbia chose to enact laws that allow the assessment of a state estate tax (of those 18 states only 15 currently collect a state estate tax), but the West Virginia legislature did nothing and as a result the state no longer collects a state estate tax.

One thing to keep in mind is that the federal estate tax and the pick up tax (and therefore the West Virginia estate tax) are scheduled to come back on January 1, 2011, due to the sunset of EGTRRA, but at this point no one really knows what will happen with the federal estate tax in 2010 let alone in 2011 and beyond.
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