Hawaii Estate Taxes

Hawaii is one of the states that imposes an estate tax.  The Department of Taxation of the State of Hawaii is responsible for collecting estate tax from those to which it applies.

If you are looking for information about federal income tax, please visit our web site’s “Tax Relief” page.

What are estate taxes?

An estate refers to the property a person leaves behind when they die.  Normally when someone dies that person’s property passes to someone else, either family members or friends as designated in a will or based on applicable state or federal laws.

For the transfer of property through an estate, government agencies including certain states and the federal government through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impose tax on such transfers against the person who received the property.  Since the person did not pay for the property or interest in the property, it is treated as income to that person and therefore is considered taxable.  The executor of the estate is therefore expected to pay the estate tax out of the value of the estate.

Who is required to file an estate tax return?

An estate must file an estate tax return if the decedent was a resident of Hawaii or a non-resident of Hawaii who owned real or tangible personal property located in Hawaii.

What is the threshold when an estate tax applies?

For decedents whose date of death is on or after May 1, 2010, the Hawaii estate tax applies to estates that have a taxable value of at least $3,500,000.

What forms must I file related to estate taxes?  And where do I file the forms?

Hawaii requires filing of the following forms related to estate tax:

  • Form M-6 – Hawaii Estate Tax Report
  • Form 706 or Form 706-NA – 2009 Federal Estate Tax Return

These forms must be filed with the Hawaii Department of Taxation.  The forms may be mailed to the following address:

Hawaii Department of Taxation

PO Box 259

Honolulu, Hawaii 96809-0259

When am I required to file estate tax forms?

For decedents who died on or after May 1, 2010, the tax forms for their estate must be filed within nine months of the date of death.  An automatic six-month extension may be requested by filing Form M-68 Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Hawaii Estate Tax Report.  The request for an extension must be filed before the original due date of the tax forms

Any tax due must be paid within nine months of the date of death.  Any extension granted only applies to the filing of the estate tax forms, not to payment of the estate tax itself.  Interest will accrue on any unpaid estate tax balance at a variable rate based on the current market.

How can I get help if I have questions about estate tax?

If you have questions about estate taxes, you need help filing the appropriate estate tax forms, or you have any other tax-related needs, you should first call the telephone number located at the top of this page.  You can then speak with a tax attorney who is knowledgeable about estate tax or whatever area of tax you have questions about.  The initial conversation is free of charge and does not obligate you to anything further, so call today to get the tax help you need.

by Mark Johnston

Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.