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Estate tax

The information on this page is for the estates of individuals with dates of death on or after April 1, 2014.

For previous periods, see information for dates of death on or after February 1, 2000, and before April 1, 2014.

Filing requirements

Residents

The estate of a New York resident must file a New York State estate tax return if:

  • the amount of the federal gross estate, plus
  • the amount of any includible gifts,

exceeds the basic exclusion amount applicable at the date of death.

Nonresidents

An estate of a New York nonresident must file a New York State estate tax return if the estate includes any real or tangible property located in New York State, and

  • the amount of the federal gross estate, plus
  • the amount of any includible gifts,

exceeds the basic exclusion amount applicable at the date of death.

Includible gifts

An includible gift is any taxable gift under section 2503 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that:

  • was made during the preceding three year period ending on the decedent’s date of death, and
  • is not already included in the decedent’s federal gross estate

However, a gift is not included if it:

  • consists of real or tangible property located outside of New York State, whether made by a resident or nonresident,
  • was made while the decedent was a nonresident, or
  • was made before April 1, 2014.

Basic exclusion amount (BEA)

For dates of death:
 

The BEA is:
  • On or after April 1, 2014, and on or before March 31, 2015:
  • On or after April 1, 2015, and on or before March 31, 2016:
  • On or after April 1, 2016, and on or before March 31, 2017:
  • On or after April 1, 2017, and on or before December 31, 2018:
  • $2,062,500
    $3,125,000
    $4,187,500
    $5,250,000

    When to file and pay

    Estates must file and pay the tax within nine months after the decedent’s death.

    • File Form ET-706, New York State Estate Tax Return. Be sure to use a return corresponding to the decedent's date of death on or after April 1, 2014 (not yet available).
    • Be sure to include federal Form 706, United States Estate Tax Return. You must complete and include Form 706 even if the estate is not required to file a federal estate tax return.

    Extensions

    Estates may apply for an extension of time to file the return and/or pay the tax.

    • Use Form ET-133, Application for Extension of Time to File and/or Pay Estate Tax.
    • An extension generally may not exceed six months.
    • In cases where payment within nine months of death would result in undue hardship to the estate, an extension of up to four years may be granted.

    Penalties may apply for late filing or late payment. Interest is due on any late payments, including those made pursuant to an extension.

    Tax rates

    New York’s estate tax is calculated by using the tax table provided on Form ET-706 corresponding to the decedent's date of death.

    Waivers and releases

    Personal property

    When authorization is required for the release of personal property, it is usually referred to as an estate tax waiver or a consent to transfer. New York State does not require waivers for estates of anyone who died on or after February 1, 2000. For details, see Publication 603, Estate Tax Waivers.

    Real property

    Authorization to transfer real property is referred to as a release of lien.

    A waiver of citation is used for an estate to get court approval for a specific action and must be approved by the Tax Department. See Form AU-67, Instructions to Request a Waiver of Citation and Consent.

    Other information you may need to provide:

    • copy of the death certificate
    • copy of the decedent’s will and/or relevant trusts
    • copies of appraisals
    • letters of appointment for executors or administrators
    • copies of relevant documents regarding litigation involving the estate
    • documentation of any unusual items shown on the return (partially included assets, losses, near date of death transfers, others)

    Closing letter

    The New York State Tax Department will provide a closing letter to certify that no tax is due or to serve as a final receipt for the tax due.

    • The letter is issued after all processing is completed and should be kept as a permanent record.
    • Most closing letters will be issued about four to six months from the time of filing. However, returns that contain errors or have special circumstances may take longer.

    Marriage Equality Act

    This law took effect on July 24, 2011. Learn how the Marriage Equality Act applies to taxes administered by this department.

    Estate tax forms, instructions, and guidance

    Updated: November 14, 2014