Last Reviewed: Fri, Oct 1, 2021
District of Columbia residents are subject to an estate tax for estates of more than $5.6 million. This tax falls on the estate of the person who died;, the beneficiaries or heirs inherit what's left. There is no inheritance tax in the District of Columbia--this would be tax that falls on the heirs and beneficiaries, not on the estate of the person who died. This state exemption will be increased to match the federal estate tax exemption (currently $12,006,000) when certain revenue surplus targets are met.
This estate tax is in addtion to the federal estate tax, which also falls on the estate of the person who died, not on the people who inherit that property. There is a federal estate tax exemption of $10 million, which is indexed to inflation and is currently $12,006,000, and only the estates of people who die with an estate larger than that exemption will have to pay estate tax. It is estimated that only the richest .14% of Americans are now subject to the estate tax, or only two out of every 1,000 people who die.
If someone dies in the District of Columbia with less than the exemption amount (currently $12,006,000), their estate doesn't owe any federal estate tax, and if someone dies in the District of Columbia with an estate worth less than $5.6 million, there is no the District of Columbia estate tax, either. The heirs and beneficiaries inherit the property free of estate tax. They don't pay income tax on it, either, because inherited property is not ordinary income. The only exception to this are inherited retirement accounts, which are subject to income tax as the assets are withdrawn.
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