Search
458-57-105  <<  458-57-115 >>   458-57-125

WAC 458-57-115

Agency filings affecting this section

Valuation of property, property subject to estate tax, and how to calculate the tax.

(1) Introduction. This rule applies to deaths occurring on or after May 17, 2005, and is intended to help taxpayers prepare their return and pay the correct amount of Washington state estate tax. It explains the necessary steps for determining the tax and how the tax is calculated. The estate tax rule on valuation of property etc., for deaths occurring on or before May 16, 2005, can be found in WAC 458-57-015.
(2) Determining the property subject to Washington's estate tax.
(a) General valuation information. The value of every item of property in a decedent's gross estate is its date of death fair market value. However, the personal representative may elect to use the alternate valuation method under section 2032 of the Internal Revenue Code, and in that case the value is the fair market value at that date, including the adjustments prescribed in that section of the Internal Revenue Code. The valuation of certain farm property and closely held business property, properly made for federal estate tax purposes pursuant to an election authorized by section 2032A of the Internal Revenue Code of 2005, is binding on the estate for state estate tax purposes.
(b) How is the gross estate determined? The first step in determining the value of a decedent's Washington taxable estate is to determine the total value of the gross estate. The value of the gross estate includes the value of all the decedent's tangible and intangible property at the time of death. In addition, the gross estate may include property in which the decedent did not have an interest at the time of death. A decedent's gross estate for estate tax purposes may therefore be different from the same decedent's estate for local probate purposes. Sections 2031 through 2046 of the Internal Revenue Code provide a detailed explanation of how to determine the value of the gross estate.
(c) Deductions from the gross estate. The value of the taxable estate is determined by subtracting the authorized exemption and deductions from the value of the gross estate. Under various conditions and limitations, deductions are allowable for expenses, indebtedness, taxes, losses, charitable transfers, and transfers to a surviving spouse. While sections 2051 through 2056A of the Internal Revenue Code provide a detailed explanation of how to determine the value of the taxable estate the following areas are of special note:
(i) Funeral expenses.
(A) Washington is a community property state and under Estate of Julius C. Lang v. Commissioner, 97 Fed. 2d 867 (9th Cir. 1938) affirming the reasoning of Wittwer v. Pemberton, 188 Wash. 72, 76, 61 P.2d 993 (1936) funeral expenses reported for a married decedent must be halved. Administration expenses are not a community debt and are reported at 100%.
(B) Example. John, a married man, died in 2005 with an estate valued at $2.5 million. On Schedule J of the federal estate tax return listed following as expenses:
SCHEDULE J - Funeral Expenses and Expenses Incurred in Administering Property Subject to Claims
Item
Number
Description
Expense Amount
Total Amount
1
A. Funeral expenses: Burial and services
$4,000
 
 
 
(1/2 community debt)
($2,000)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total funeral expenses . . . . . . . . . . . .
 
$2,000
 
 
B. Administration expenses:
 
 
 
1. Executors' commissions - amount estimated/agreed upon paid. (Strike out the words that do not apply.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$10,000
 
 
2. Attorney fees - amount estimated/agreed upon/paid. (Strike out the words that do not apply.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$5,000
 
The funeral expenses, as a community debt, were properly reported at 50% and the other administration expenses were properly reported at 100%.
(ii) Mortgages and liens on real property. Real property listed on Schedule A should be reported at its fair market value without deduction of mortgages or liens on the property. Mortgages and liens are reported and deducted using Schedule K.
(iii) Washington qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) election.
(A) A personal representative may choose to make a larger or smaller percentage or fractional QTIP election on the Washington return than taken on the federal return in order to reduce Washington estate liability while making full use of the federal unified credit.
(B) Section 2056 (b)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code states that a QTIP election is irrevocable once made. For the taxpayer that makes this election, any amount deducted by reason of section 2056 (b)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code is added to, and the value of the property for which a Washington election is made is deducted from, the Washington taxable estate. For the estate of the surviving spouse, the amount included in the estate's gross estate pursuant to section 2044 (a) and (b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code is deducted from, and the value of any property for which an election under this section was previously made is added to, the Washington taxable estate. A QTIP election made on the Washington return is irrevocable, and a surviving spouse who is the lifetime beneficiary of property for which a Washington QTIP election was made must include the value of the remaining property in his or her gross estate for Washington estate tax purposes. If the value of property for which a federal QTIP election was made is different, this value is not includible in the surviving spouse's gross estate for Washington estate tax purposes; instead, the value of property for which a Washington QTIP election was made is includible.
(C) The Washington QTIP election must adequately identify the assets, by schedule and item number, included as part of the election, either on the return or, if those assets have not been determined when the estate tax return is filed, on a statement to that effect, prepared when the assets are definitively identified. Identification of the assets is necessary when reviewing the surviving spouse's return, if a return is required to be filed. This statement may be filed with the department at that time or when the surviving spouse's estate tax return is filed.
(iv) Washington qualified domestic trust (QDOT) election.
(A) A deduction is allowed for property passing to a surviving spouse who is not a U.S. citizen in a qualified domestic trust (a "QDOT"). An executor may elect to treat a trust as a QDOT on the Washington estate tax return even though no QDOT election is made with respect to the trust on the federal return; and also may forgo making an election on the Washington estate tax return to treat a trust as a QDOT even though a QDOT election is made with respect to the trust on the federal return. An election to treat a trust as a QDOT may not be made with respect to a specific portion of an entire trust that otherwise would qualify for the marital deduction, but if the trust is actually severed pursuant to authority granted in the governing instrument or under local law prior to the due date for the election, a QDOT election may be made for any one or more of the severed trusts.
(B) A QDOT election may be made on the Washington estate tax return with respect to property passing to the surviving spouse in a QDOT, and also with respect to property passing to the surviving spouse if the requirements of section 2056 (d)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code are satisfied. Unless specifically stated otherwise herein, all provisions of sections 2056(d) and 2056A of the Internal Revenue Code, and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder, are applicable to a Washington QDOT election. Section 2056A(d) of the Internal Revenue Code states that a QDOT election is irrevocable once made. Similarly, a QDOT election made on the Washington estate tax return is irrevocable. For purposes of this subsection, a QDOT means, with respect to any decedent, a trust described in section 2056A(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, provided, however, that if an election is made to treat a trust as a QDOT on the Washington estate tax return but no QDOT election is made with respect to the trust on the federal return:
(I) The trust must have at least one trustee that is an individual citizen of the United States resident in Washington state, or a corporation formed under the laws of the state of Washington, or a bank as defined in section 581 of the Internal Revenue Code that is authorized to transact business in, and is transacting business in, the state of Washington (the trustee required under this subsection is referred to herein as the "Washington Trustee");
(II) The Washington Trustee must have the right to withhold from any distribution from the trust (other than a distribution of income) the Washington QDOT tax imposed on such distribution;
(III) The trust must be maintained and administered under the laws of the state of Washington; and
(IV) The trust must meet the additional requirements intended to ensure the collection of the Washington QDOT tax set forth in (c)(iv)(D) of this subsection.
(C) The QDOT election must adequately identify the assets, by schedule and item number, included as part of the election, either on the return, or, if those assets have not been determined when the estate tax return is filed, or a statement to that effect, prepared when the assets are definitively identified. This statement may be filed with the department at that time or when the first taxable event with respect to the trust is reported to the department.
(D) In order to qualify as a QDOT, the following requirements regarding collection of the Washington QDOT tax must be satisfied.
(I) If a QDOT election is made to treat a trust as a QDOT on both the federal and Washington estate tax returns, the Washington QDOT election will be valid so long as the trust satisfies the statutory requirements of Treas. Reg. Section 20.2056A-2(d).
(II) If an election is made to treat a trust as a QDOT only on the Washington estate tax return, the following rules apply:
If the fair market value of the trust assets exceeds $2 million as of the date of the decedent's death, or, if applicable, the alternate valuation date, the trust must comply with Treas. Reg. Section 20.2056A-2 (d)(1)(i), except that: If the bank trustee alternative is used, the bank must be a bank that is authorized to transact business in, and is transacting business in, the state of Washington, or a bond or an irrevocable letter of credit meeting the requirements of Treas. Reg. Section 20.2056A-2 (d)(1)(i)(B) or (C) must be furnished to the department.
If the fair market value of the trust assets is $2 million or less as of the date of the decedent's death, or, if applicable, the alternate valuation date, the trust must comply with Treas. Reg. Section 20.2056A-2 (d)(1)(ii), except that not more than 35 percent of the fair market value of the trust may be comprised of real estate located outside of the state of Washington.
A taxpayer may request approval of an alternate plan or arrangement to assure the collection of the Washington QDOT tax. If such plan or arrangement is approved by the department, such plan or arrangement will be deemed to meet the requirements of this (c)(iv)(D).
(E) The Washington estate tax will be imposed on:
(I) Any distribution before the date of the death of the surviving spouse from a QDOT (except those distributions excepted by section 2056A (b)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code); and
(II) The value of the property remaining in the QDOT on the date of the death of the surviving spouse (or the spouse's deemed date of death under IRC section 2056A (b)(4)). The tax is computed using Table W. The tax is due on the date specified in IRC section 2056A (b)(5). The tax shall be reported to the department in a form containing the information that would be required to be included on federal Form 706-QDT with respect to the taxable event, and any other information requested by the department, and the computation of the Washington tax shall be made on a supplemental statement. If Form 706-QDT is required to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service with respect to a taxable event, a copy of such form shall be provided to the department. Neither the residence of the surviving spouse or other QDOT beneficiary nor the situs of the QDOT assets are relevant to the application of the Washington tax. In other words, if Washington state estate tax would have been imposed on property passing to a QDOT at the decedent's date of death but for the deduction allowed by this subsection (c)(iv)(E)(II), the Washington tax will apply to the QDOT at the time of a taxable event as set forth in this subsection (c)(iv)(E)(II) regardless of, for example, whether the distribution is made to a beneficiary who is not a resident of Washington, or whether the surviving spouse was a nonresident of Washington at the date of the surviving spouse's death.
(F) If the surviving spouse of the decedent becomes a citizen of the United States and complies with the requirements of section 2056A (b)(12) of the Internal Revenue Code, then the Washington tax will not apply to: Any distribution before the date of the death of the surviving spouse from a QDOT; or the value of the property remaining in the QDOT on the date of the death of the surviving spouse (or the spouse's deemed date of death under section 2056A (b)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code).
(d) Washington taxable estate. The estate tax is imposed on the "Washington taxable estate." The "Washington taxable estate" is defined in WAC 458-57-105 (3)(t).
(e) Federal taxable estate. The "federal taxable estate" is defined in WAC 458-57-105 (3)(i).
(3) Calculation of Washington's estate tax.
(a) The tax is calculated by applying Table W to the Washington taxable estate.
Table W
(For deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2014)
Washington
Taxable Estate
is at Least
But Less Than
The Amount
of Tax Equals Initial Tax Amount
Plus Tax Rate %
Of Washington Taxable Estate
Value Greater Than
$0
$1,000,000
$0
10.00%
$0
$1,000,000
$2,000,000
$100,000
 
14.00%
$1,000,000
$2,000,000
$3,000,000
$240,000
 
15.00%
$2,000,000
$3,000,000
$4,000,000
$390,000
 
16.00%
$3,000,000
$4,000,000
$6,000,000
$550,000
 
18.00%
$4,000,000
$6,000,000
$7,000,000
$910,000
 
19.00%
$6,000,000
$7,000,000
$9,000,000
$1,100,000
 
19.50%
$7,000,000
$9,000,000
 
$1,490,000
 
20.00%
$9,000,000
Table W
(For deaths occurring before January 1, 2014)
Washington
Taxable Estate
is at Least
But Less Than
The Amount
of Tax Equals Initial Tax Amount
Plus Tax Rate %
Of Washington Taxable Estate
Value Greater Than
$0
$1,000,000
$0
10.00%
$0
$1,000,000
$2,000,000
$100,000
 
14.00%
$1,000,000
$2,000,000
$3,000,000
$240,000
 
15.00%
$2,000,000
$3,000,000
$4,000,000
$390,000
 
16.00%
$3,000,000
$4,000,000
$6,000,000
$550,000
 
17.00%
$4,000,000
$6,000,000
$7,000,000
$890,000
 
18.00%
$6,000,000
$7,000,000
$9,000,000
$1,070,000
 
18.50%
$7,000,000
$9,000,000
 
$1,440,000
 
19.00%
$9,000,000
(b) Each year the department will publish each calendar year's "applicable exclusion amount." The "applicable exclusion amount" is adjusted annually and is defined in WAC 458-57-105 (3)(b).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 83.100.200, 82.32.300, 82.01.060(2), 83.100.020, 83.100.040, 83.100.047, 83.100.048, 83.100.120, and 83.100.210. WSR 14-14-075, § 458-57-115, filed 6/27/14, effective 7/28/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300 and 82.01.060(2). WSR 09-04-008, § 458-57-115, filed 1/22/09, effective 2/22/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 83.100.047 and 83.100.200. WSR 06-07-051, § 458-57-115, filed 3/9/06, effective 4/9/06.]