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Division of Taxation

COVID-19 Related Tax Information
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Important Information About Retail COVID-19 Fees and Sales Tax

Inheritance and Estate Tax

This Branch administers all phases of New Jersey Inheritance and Estate Taxes:

  • Processes Inheritance and Estate Tax Returns;
  • Processes checks;
  • Audits Inheritance and Estate Tax returns;
  • Conducts protests, appeals, and administrative reviews;
  • Develops tax forms, instructional materials, notices and publications;
  • Provides assistance to taxpayers, attorneys, accountants, and banking institutions regarding Inheritance and Estate Tax statutes, regulations, policies, and procedures.
Executor’s Guide to Inheritance and Estate Taxes

Forms

Will
Inheritance Tax

New Jersey has had an Inheritance Tax since 1892, when a tax was imposed on property transferred from a deceased person to a beneficiary. Inheritance Tax is based on who specifically will receive or has received a decedent’s assets, and how much each beneficiary is entitled to receive.

When someone dies, the assets he/she owns must go somewhere or to someone. When these assets are transferred from the name of the person who died (“the decedent”) to someone else (“the beneficiary”), the State of New Jersey may impose a tax on this “transfer” of ownership.

The amount of tax imposed depends on several factors:

  • Who the beneficiaries are and how they are related to the decedent;
  • The date of death value of the assets (and debts) that the decedent owned;
  • What kind of assets the decedent owned;
  • Whether the decedent lived in New Jersey or another state.
Note: Where the beneficiaries lived is not a factor.

There are two types of Inheritance Tax, resident and non-resident. This is based on where the person legally lived when he/she passed away. See Decedent Information for more information on resident and non-resident Inheritance Tax.

Estate Tax

On January 1, 2018, under current law, the New Jersey Estate Tax will no longer be imposed for individuals who die on or after that date.

History of New Jersey’s Estate Tax

The New Jersey Estate Tax originated in 1934. It was based on the size of the entire estate and did not break down the distribution of assets beyond exemptions for spouses and charities.

In all cases, if the decedent was not a resident of New Jersey, there was no New Jersey Estate Tax due.

In New Jersey, the Inheritance Tax was a credit against the Estate Tax; an estate paid only the higher of the two.

The New Jersey Estate Tax was phased out in two parts. If the resident decedent died:

  • On December 31, 2016, or before, the Estate Tax exemption was capped at $675,000;
  • On or after January 1, 2017, but before January 1, 2018 , the Estate Tax exemption was $2 million;
  • On or after January 1, 2018, no Estate Tax will be imposed.
Contact Us

To have your Inheritance and Estate Tax questions answered by a Division representative, inquire as to the status of an Inheritance or Estate Tax matter, or have Inheritance and Estate Tax forms mailed to you, contact the Inheritance and Estate Tax Service Center at 609-292-5033 or email Taxation.NJInheritancetax@treas.nj.gov.

Note: Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.


Last Updated: Monday, 11/23/20