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Department of Taxation and Finance

Estate tax

Updates for estate tax

  • The Basic Exclusion Amount for New York State estate tax for dates of death on or after January 1, 2019, and before January 1, 2020, is $5,740,000.
  • The requirement to add includible gifts in the New York taxable estate has been extended through dates of death before January 1, 2026. For more information, see includible gifts, below.
  • The Tax Law requires a New York qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) election be made directly on a New York return for decedents dying on or after April 1, 2019. For more information, see New York QTIP election, below.

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 resident’s 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 nonresident’s 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 was made:

  • by a resident or nonresident and the gift consists of real or tangible property located outside of New York State;
  • while the decedent was a nonresident;
  • before April 1, 2014;
  • between January 1, 2019 and January 15, 2019; or
  • by a decedent whose date of death was on or after January 1, 2026.

New York QTIP election

The Tax Law requires a New York Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) election be made directly on a New York return for decedents dying on or after April 1, 2019. Any property that benefited from a previously allowed New York marital deduction must be included in the surviving spouse’s New York gross estate, whether the QTIP election was made on the transferring spouse’s New York estate tax return or via a federal proforma return if an actual federal return was not otherwise required. Any election made under this subsection shall be irrevocable.

Basic exclusion amount (BEA)

BEA according to dates of death
For dates of death the BEA is
on or after April 1, 2014, and before April 1, 2015 $2,062,500.
on or after April 1, 2015, and before April 1, 2016 $3,125,000.
on or after April 1, 2016, and before April 1, 2017 $4,187,500.
on or after April 1, 2017, and before January 1, 2019 $5,250,000.
on or after January 1, 2019 and before January 1, 2020 $5,740,000.

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 designated for dates of death on or after April 1, 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 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 tables provided on Form ET-706. Be sure to use the table for dates of death on or after April 1, 2014.

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 nine months from the time of filing. However, returns that contain errors or have special circumstances may take longer.
  • If a return is selected for audit, the closing letter will be issued approximately 30 days from the date the audit case is closed unless there are other outstanding issues with the Tax Department, such as an open assessment or other audit case.

Marriage Equality Act

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

Power of attorney

Use Form ET-14, Estate Tax Power of Attorney, when you (the executor) want to give one or more individuals the authority to obligate, bind, or appear on your behalf before the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance with respect to estate tax matters.

Estate tax forms, instructions, and guidance

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