NOTE: State laws change frequently and the following information may not reflect recent changes in the laws. For current tax or legal advice, please consult with an accountant or an attorney since the information contained in this article is not tax or legal advice and is not a substitute for tax or legal advice.
Currently a majority of states do not collect an estate tax at the state level. Here is a summary of the changes to state estate taxes that took effect during the past few years:
- Delaware enacted an estate tax that was only supposed to be effective July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2013. Nonetheless, in the spring of 2013 the Delaware legislature acted to eliminate the sunset of the tax.
- State estate taxes were abolished by legislative action on January 1, 2010 in both Kansas and Oklahoma.
- Hawaii enacted a state estate tax effective May 1, 2010, and in May 2012 the Hawaii estate tax laws were tweaked to provide that the Hawaii estate tax exemption will be tied to the federal estate tax exemption for decedents dying after January 25, 2012.
- On January 1, 2010, state estate taxes were repealed in both Illinois and North Carolina due to the repeal of the federal estate tax. Nonetheless, estate taxes came back in both states effective January 1, 2011.
- In several states, including New Hampshire and Virginia, bills were defeated in 2009 that would have enacted a state estate tax.
- Effective January 1, 2010, Rhode Island's estate tax exemption increased to $850,000 and will be indexed for inflation thereafter.
- Effective January 1, 2011, Vermont's estate tax exemption increased to $2.75 million.
- Under Ohio budget laws the Ohio estate tax has been repealed as of January 1, 2013.
- On January 1, 2012, Oregon's estate tax rates changed such that estates valued between $1 million and $2 million will pay slightly less in estate taxes and estates valued over $2 million will pay more in estate taxes. In addition, Ballot Measure 84, which would have repealed Oregon's estate tax, was defeated in November 2012.
- Ilinois' estate tax exemption increased to $3.5 million effective January 1, 2012, and to $4 million effective January 1, 2013.
- Maine's estate tax exemption increased to $2 million on January 1, 2013.
- In July 2013, North Carolina's estate tax was repealed retroactively to January 1, 2013.
- Beginning in 2014, Washington's $2 million estate tax exemption will be indexed for inflation.
List of States That Do Not Collect State Estate Taxes
Here is the list of the jurisdictions that do not impose a state estate tax as of January 1, 2014:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
For a list of the states that currently collect a state estate tax and their current exemption amounts, refer to the State Estate Tax and Exemption Chart.
For information about state estate tax rates, refer to the 2014 State Death Tax Exemption and Top Tax Rate Chart.