Ohio Estate Taxes

Ohio is one of the few states that has an estate tax.  The Ohio Department of Taxation is responsible for collecting estate tax from those to which it applies.

However, effective beginning January 1, 2013, Ohio is repealing its estate tax law.  Following are frequently asked questions about estate tax up through the date of appeal.  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 a person’s property left behind at the time of the person’s death.  It is customary that upon death a person’s property will pass to another person through either a will or under the guidance of 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 Ohio or a non-resident of Ohio who owned real or tangible personal property located in Ohio.

What is the threshold when an estate tax applies?

For decedents whose date of death is on or after January 1, 2002,  the Ohio estate tax applies to estates that have a taxable value of at least $338,333.  Ohio applies estate tax at the following rates:

Estate Tax Rate Of the Taxable Estate Value Starting At And Up To
0% $0 $338,333
6% $338,333 $500,000
7% $500,000 No limit

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

Ohio requires filing of the following forms with the probate court:

  • ET Form 2 – Ohio Estate Tax Return
  • ET Form 5 – Filing Notice
  • ET Form 22 – Certificate of Estate Tax

These forms must be filed with the probate court in the county where the decedent lived at the time of his death.  Any estate tax due must be paid at the County Auditor’s office.

When am I required to file estate tax forms?

For decedents who died on or before December 31, 1999, the tax forms for their estate must be filed within nine months of the date of death.  For decedents who died on or after January 1, 2000, and through December 31, 2012, an automatic six-month extension is added to the filing time, allowing the estate a total of 15 months to file the appropriate tax forms.

However, note that interest begins to accrue on any estate tax due once beyond the nine-month timeframe, even when an extension is granted permitting an additional six months to file the estate tax forms.  Interest accrues 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.

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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.