In Pennsylvania, inheritance tax is imposed on all assets that transfer upon death. Inheritance Tax Filings and/or payments must be made at the Register of Wills Office in the County where the decedent “resided”.
The tax rates are as follows:
- 0% on transfers to spouses and charities
- 4.5% on transfers to "lineal" descendants (parents, grandparents, children, sons and daughters-in-law)
- 12% on transfers to siblings
- 15% on transfers to any other person.
- Two duplicate original Inheritance Tax Returns should be filed and include:
- Original signatures.
- Attached by binder clip, NOT STAPLED.
- Recapitulation (cover) sheet.
- Any schedules pertinent to the Estate. File applicable schedules only. No schedule marked “none” should be filed.
- Any explanatory documentation (copy of will/trust, appraisals, account balances, settlement sheets, etc. may be attached to the Return for forwarding to Harrisburg)
- Inheritance Tax Returns are due nine months from date of death.
- Properties jointly held by husband and wife are considered non-probate assets but may be required to report although taxed at 0% tax rate for surviving spouse. Jointly-held assets with individual(s) other than a spouse are generally subject to tax.
Inheritance Tax Forms can be picked up in our office, or found online at www.revenue.pa.gov
Payment of Tax
Inheritance tax payments are due upon the death of the decedent and become delinquent nine months after the individual's death. If inheritance tax is paid within three months of the decedent's death, a 5 percent discount of the tax due is allowed. If inheritance tax is paid after nine months, interest will begin to accrue and penalties may be assessed.
All checks must be made payable to Register of Wills, Agent and presented to the Register of Wills of the County where the decedent resided. If the payment is mailed, the postmarked date on the envelope will be used for the date of payment.
If a tax form is not being filed, an original death certificate may need to be filed with our office in order to process the tax payment. There is no filing fee for a tax form. However, to file an original death certificate the cost is $10 (no personal checks).
An interest and penalty calculator is available at www.doreservices.state.pa.us.
If a supplemental return is filed, it should only include the additional, or newly reported, assets, transfers or deductions. Do not repeat any assets or deductions reported on an original return or prior supplemental return.
Refund of Tax
If the oval is checked requesting a refund, on the REV-1500, the revenue department automatically issues a refund check payable to the Estate and it is mailed to the correspondent listed on the Return.
If the oval was not checked, and a Statement of Account is mailed out showing a refund is due, a REV-1313 needs to be completed and mailed directly to the address listed on the REV-1313.
Nonresident Decedent Inheritance Tax Returns
Inheritance Tax Returns for Decedents not residing in Pennsylvania at the time of their death cannot be filed at the Register of Wills Office.
REV-1737-A instructions and forms are online at www.revenue.pa.gov
Errors discovered on the assessment can be corrected administratively by reporting the errors to the Department of Revenue. A letter and documentation requesting an administrative correction should be mailed to: PA Dept. of Revenue, Bureau of Individual Taxes, Post Assessment Review Unit, P.O. Box 280601, Harrisburg, PA 17128-0601.