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WAC 458-57-105

Agency filings affecting this section

Nature of estate tax, definitions.

(1) Introduction. This rule applies to deaths occurring on or after May 17, 2005, and describes the nature of Washington state's estate tax as it is imposed by chapter 83.100 RCW (Estate and Transfer Tax Act). It also defines terms that will be used throughout chapter 458-57 WAC (Washington Estate and Transfer Tax Reform Act rules). The estate tax rule on the nature of estate tax and definitions for deaths occurring on or before May 16, 2005, can be found in WAC 458-57-005.
(2) Nature of Washington's estate tax. The estate tax is neither a property tax nor an inheritance tax. It is a tax imposed on the transfer of the entire taxable estate and not upon any particular legacy, devise, or distributive share.
(a) Relationship of Washington's estate tax to the federal estate tax. The department administers the estate tax under the legislative enactment of chapter 83.100 RCW, which references the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) as it existed January 1, 2005. Federal estate tax law changes enacted after January 1, 2005, do not apply to the reporting requirements of Washington's estate tax. The department will follow federal Treasury Regulations section 20 (Estate tax regulations), in existence on January 1, 2005, to the extent they do not conflict with the provisions of chapter 83.100 RCW or 458-57 WAC. For deaths occurring January 1, 2009, and after, Washington has different estate tax reporting and filing requirements than the federal government. There will be estates that must file an estate tax return with the state of Washington, even though they are not required to file with the federal government. The Washington state estate and transfer tax return and the instructions for completing the return can be found on the department's web site at under the heading titled forms. The return and instructions can also be requested by calling the department's estate tax section at 360-570-3265, option 2.
(b) Lifetime transfers. Washington estate tax taxes lifetime transfers only to the extent included in the federal gross estate. The state of Washington does not have a gift tax.
(3) Definitions. The following terms and definitions are applicable throughout chapter 458-57 WAC:
(a) "Absentee distributee" means any person who is the beneficiary of a will or trust who has not been located;
(b) "Decedent" means a deceased individual;
(c) "Department" means the department of revenue, the director of that department, or any employee of the department exercising authority lawfully delegated to him by the director;
(d) "Escheat" of an estate means that whenever any person dies, whether a resident of this state or not, leaving property in an estate subject to the jurisdiction of this state and without being survived by any person entitled to that same property under the laws of this state, such estate property shall be designated escheat property and shall be subject to the provisions of RCW 11.08.140 through 11.08.300;
(e) "Federal return" means any tax return required by chapter 11 (Estate tax) of the Internal Revenue Code;
(f) "Federal tax" means tax under chapter 11 (Estate tax) of the Internal Revenue Code;
(g) "Federal taxable estate" means the taxable estate as determined under chapter 11 of the Internal Revenue Code without regard to:
(i) The termination of the federal estate tax under section 2210 of the IRC or any other provision of law; and
(ii) The deduction for state estate, inheritance, legacy, or succession taxes allowable under section 2058 of the IRC.
(h) "Gross estate" means "gross estate" as defined and used in section 2031 of the Internal Revenue Code;
(i) "Internal Revenue Code" or "IRC" means, for purposes of this chapter, the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended or renumbered on January 1, 2005;
(j) "Person" means any individual, estate, trust, receiver, cooperative association, club, corporation, company, firm, partnership, joint venture, syndicate, or other entity and, to the extent permitted by law, any federal, state, or other governmental unit or subdivision or agency, department, or instrumentality thereof;
(k) "Person required to file the federal return" means any person required to file a return required by chapter 11 of the Internal Revenue Code, such as the personal representative (executor) of an estate;
(l) "Property," when used in reference to an estate tax transfer, means property included in the gross estate;
(m) "Resident" means a decedent who was domiciled in Washington at time of death;
(n) "State return" means the Washington estate tax return required by RCW 83.100.050;
(o) "Taxpayer" means a person upon whom tax is imposed under this chapter, including an estate or a person liable for tax under RCW 83.100.120;
(p) "Transfer" means "transfer" as used in section 2001 of the Internal Revenue Code. However, "transfer" does not include a qualified heir disposing of an interest in property qualifying for a deduction under RCW 83.100.046;
(q) "Washington taxable estate" means the "federal taxable estate":
(i) Less one million five hundred thousand dollars for decedents dying before January 1, 2006, or two million dollars for decedents dying on or after January 1, 2006;
(ii) Less the amount of any deduction allowed under RCW 83.100.046 as a farm deduction;
(iii) Less the amount of the Washington qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) election made under RCW 83.100.047;
(iv) Plus any amount deducted from the federal estate pursuant to IRC § 2056 (b)(7) (the federal QTIP election);
(v) Plus the value of any trust (or portion of a trust) of which the decedent was income beneficiary and for which a Washington QTIP election was previously made pursuant to RCW 83.100.047; and
(vi) Less any amount included in the federal taxable estate pursuant to IRC § 2044 (inclusion of amounts for which a federal QTIP election was previously made) from a predeceased spouse that died on or after May 17, 2005.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300 and 82.01.060(2). WSR 09-04-008, § 458-57-105, filed 1/22/09, effective 2/22/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 83.100.047 and 83.100.200. WSR 06-07-051, § 458-57-105, filed 3/9/06, effective 4/9/06.]