In addition to coping with the loss of a loved one, the surviving family members need to comply with certain legal and financial obligations related to the estate of the deceased individual. One such obligation is paying the taxes accrued against the estate of the deceased.
According to current rules, the estate of a New York resident who died on or after April 1, 2014 needs to pay estate tax if the amount of the deceased person's federal gross estate, plus the amount of includable gifts, exceeds the basic exclusion amount, or "BEA," that is applicable at the date of death. The estate of a non-resident who died on or after April 1, 2014 also needs to file estate tax based on the same terms and conditions if that deceased non-resident held any real or tangible property located in New York.
The BEA has been revised every year since 2014. For example, the BEA for deaths between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015 is $2,062,500 and the BEA for deaths between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 is $5,740,000. It is important for the family members to go through the details so as to develop a fair understanding of the applicable BEA.
Estate tax also depends on the includable gifts that are part of the estate. Includable gifts, in this case, are taxable gifts listed in Section 2503 of the Internal Revenue Code, which the deceased made in the three years immediately preceding the date of death and which were not part of the federal gross estate. A gift, however, may not includable if certain conditions are met.