How Much Do Estate Taxes Vary From State to State?


Quick Answer

As of 2015, only 15 states and the District of Columbia collect estate tax from their residents, according to About.com. The maximum estate tax rate varies from 9.5 percent in Tennessee to 20 percent in Washington for the 2015 tax year.

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Full Answer

Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts have a 16-percent top rate for estate taxes, as does Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, notes About.com. The District of Columbia also has a top rate of 16 percent, while Connecticut and Maine have a 12-percent maximum tax rate.

All states and the District of Columbia include exemptions in their tax codes, so estates that are worth less than the exemption amount are not taxed, explains About.com. New Jersey has the lowest exemption at $675,000, while Delaware and Hawaii have the highest exemptions at $5,430,000. The District of Columbia, Massachusetts and Oregon enacted $1 million exemptions, and Minnesota state tax code specifies a $1.4 million exemption.

Maryland and Rhode Island have $1.5 million exemptions, while Connecticut and Maine have $2 million exemptions. Washington has a $2,054,000 exemption, and Vermont's is slightly higher at $2,750,000. New York increased its exemption from $2,062,500 to $3,125,000, which went into effect on April 1, 2015. Illinois has a $4 million exemption, and Tennessee has a $5 million exemption on estate taxes.

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