Rhode Island Estate Taxes

Rhode Island is one of the few states that has an estate tax.  The Department of Revenue in Rhode Island’s Division of Taxation is responsible for administration of the estate tax laws in effect for the state.  The laws related to estate tax in Rhode Island have been updated effective January 1, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Following is an overview of the current estate tax laws in effect for Rhode Island.  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 normal that after death a person’s property will pass to family, friends, or others through a will.  Or when that person does not have a will, the property passes to others under the guidance of applicable state or federal probate laws.

For the transfer of property through an estate, government agencies—including a few states and the federal government through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)—impose tax on such transfers against the estate itself.  Since the property is going to a person or persons who did not pay for the property or an interest in the property, it is treated as income when it exceeds a certain threshold.  Therefore, a tax is imposed on that income.

In addition, some lawmakers believe that a given family should not be allowed to accumulate too much wealth.  They see the estate tax as a way to level set that wealth and redistribute it back into the system.

Who is required to file an estate tax return in Rhode Island?

Decedents must file an estate tax return if the decedent was a resident of Rhode Island or the estate includes real or tangible personal property actually located in the state of Rhode Island.

What are the thresholds where estate taxes apply in Rhode Island?

If the decedent dies on or after January 1, 2012, the estate of a decedent must pay Rhode Island estate tax if the gross estate has a value of at least $892,865.

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

If the decedent was a resident of Rhode Island at the time of his or her death, the decedent’s estate must file Form RI-100A Rhode Island Estate Tax Return.  In addition, the federal estate tax form 706 must be filed if federal estate tax applies.

Estate tax forms may be mailed to the following address:

Rhode Island Division of Taxation

Estate Tax Section

One Capitol Hill

Providence, RI 02908-5800

When are Rhode Island estate taxes due?

An executor must file and pay Rhode Island estate taxes within nine months of a decedents death.  An executor may obtain an extension of time to file by filing Form RI-4768 Request for Automatic 6 Month Extension to File Rhode Island Estate Tax.

If estate tax due is not paid within the original nine month period, the estate will be assessed a penalty of .5% per month and interest of 18% per year.  Even if the extension form is filed, the estate will still be assessed interest on the unpaid estate tax liability after the original nine month period.  This is because the extension is only for the time to file the appropriate estate tax forms.   It is not an extension of the time to pay estate tax owed.

Where can I get help if I have additional questions about Rhode Island estate taxes or other taxes?

If you have questions about estate taxes, income taxes, or any other tax issues, you can get answers to your questions by calling the telephone number located at the top of this page.  You can have a confidential conversation with a tax attorney free of charge and with no further obligation.  This attorney will be able to answer your questions about Rhode Island estate taxes or any other tax issues you are facing.  So get the help you need today.

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.