IS OHIO ESTATE TAX GONE IN OHIO?
By Lisa M. Bitter, Esq.
No, not yet. The Ohio Estate Tax is still in effect for decedents with a date of death prior to January 1, 2013 that have a gross estate greater than $338,333.00. The current Ohio estate tax imposes a 6% rate on estates of $338,333, rising to 7% on estates over $500,000. Twenty-two states (plus the District of Columbia) currently impose an estate tax or an inheritance tax (Maryland and New Jersey have both). For dates of death on or after January 1, 2013, the Ohio Estate Tax is no longer in effect.
The Ohio estate tax is a graduated tax levied on the transfer of assets of an estate. The executor or administrator of the estate is responsible for filing the return. The return is due nine months from the date of death. For dates of death on or after January 1, 2000, the tax commissioner has authorized an automatic six-month extension of time to file the Ohio estate tax return. This permits estates with a date of death on or after January 1, 2000 to have a total of 15 months to file the return. Interest on any tax due begins to accrue at variable rates 9 months from the date of death regardless of the extended due date of the return, and continues until payment is made. Ohio estate tax returns filed late are subject to penalty, and late payments are subject to interest. Penalty is assessed at 5% per month, or any fraction of a month, not to exceed 25% of the tax as finally determined.
The return is filed in duplicate with the Probate Court in the county where the decedent lived. Some of the most common assets that must be reported include, but are not limited to: real estate located in Ohio, bank accounts, stock, tangible personal property (i.e. autos, boats, furniture, etc.), trust assets, business interests, and life insurance proceeds paid to the decedent's estate. Insurance on the life of the decedent, payable to a beneficiary other than the estate, is not includible for Ohio estate tax purposes.
Some of the most common expenses that are deductible include, but are not limited to: funeral expenses, unreimbursed medical expenses, real estate mortgages, real estate taxes, attorney and/or executor fees, income taxes, utilities, and charitable contributions. Typically the attorney representing the estate prepares the Ohio Estate Tax Return.
Lisa Bitter is chair of Benjamin, Yocum and Heather LLC's, Wills, Trust, Estate Planning and Probate Law practice group. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of Estate Planning and Probate Administration for organizations throughout Greater Cincinnati and the Tri-State. Lisa is also a referral attorney for Pro-Seniors of Cincinnati, ARAG Legal Services Plan, and Hyatt Legal Services Plan. Lisa can be reached at (513)-721-5672.