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Estate tax (before April 1, 2014)

The information on this page is for the estates of individuals with dates of deaths on or after February 1, 2000, and before April 1, 2014.

For later periods, see information for dates of death on or after April 1, 2014.

Filing requirements

An estate is required to file a New York State estate tax return if the total of the federal gross estate plus the federal adjusted taxable gifts and specific exemption exceeds $1 million, and the individual was either:

  • a resident of the state at the time of death, or
  • a resident or citizen of the U.S. at the time of death but not a resident of New York State whose estate includes real or tangible personal property located in the state.

For an individual who was not a resident or citizen of the U.S. at the time of death, the estate must file a New York State estate tax return if the estate includes real or tangible personal property located in New York State and the gross estate located in the U.S. exceeds the filing limit.

The filing limit is $60,000 reduced by the sum of

  • the gift tax specific exemption applicable to certain gifts made in 1976, and
  • the total taxable gifts made after 1976 that are not included in the gross estate.

When to file and pay

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

  • Use 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 before March 31, 2014.
  • 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 payment. Interest is due on any late payments, including those made pursuant to an extension.

Tax rates

For dates of death on or before March 31, 2014, New York’s estate tax is calculated by using a graduated rate schedule. See Form ET-706 corresponding to the decedent's date of death for a listing of the applicable tax rates.

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 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

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