Census Bureau figures released March 30, 2009, show that about 2.5 percent of Pennsylvania’s 2008 revenue came from “death and gift” taxes. Surprisingly, that percentage of government income is the highest of any state.
Death taxes can take one of two forms – a tax on the estate of the deceased or a tax on the amounts inherited by survivors.
Today, Pennsylvania only has an inheritance tax. The inheritance tax is imposed on the value of the decedent’s estate transferred to beneficiaries by will or intestacy. For dates of death on or after July 1, 2000, the tax rate for Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax is 4.5 percent for transfers to direct descendants (lineal heirs), 12 percent for transfers to siblings, and 15 percent for transfers to other heirs (except charitable organizations, exempt institutions, and government entities). Inheritance tax payments are due upon the death of the decedent and become delinquent nine months after the individual’s death. If the tax is paid within three months of the decedent’s death, a 5% discount is allowed.
[THE FOREGOING IS INTENDED AS A GENERAL DISCUSSION OF THE LAW IN PA AND IS NOT MEANT TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC LEGAL QUESTION OR ISSUE, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE]& ;