Estate Tax

In Ohio, an Estate Tax return is filed within nine months of a person’s date of death. One copy is filed with the Probate Court and a second copy is filed with the County Auditor, as agent of the Ohio Tax Commissioner. The tax due is based on the net value of the decedent’s estate. This net value is based on the gross value minus the debts and administration expenses of the estate. The gross value is made up of all assets, such as real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, personalty, and such. 

Debts & Administration Expenses

The debts and administration expenses are made up of funeral costs, attorney and executor fees, outstanding bills in the name of the decedent, and such. Ohio allows an unlimited marital deduction that allows property to pass from one spouse to another without taxation. Effective for dates of death after January 1, 2001, a maximum tax credit of $6,600 is allowed. For dates of death after January 1, 2002, the maximum tax credit is $13,900. Taxes are paid at the Auditor's office. It is strongly recommended that an attorney be retained to prepare this return.

Consent to Transfer Property (Tax Releases)

The Auditor also issues Consent to Transfer Property (Tax Releases) for Estates. These releases are issued only for assets and accounts with a value greater than $25,000. For assets held jointly between husband and wife only, no release is necessary for any amount. These releases serve two purposes. First, it notifies the financial institution that it may transfer ownership of the asset. Second, it notifies the Department of Taxation that the estate and asset exist and that an estate tax return may be necessary.

Reminders about Estate Tax

  • Due Date for Filing an Estate Tax Return - Nine months after the date of death
  • Consents to transfer Assets (bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.) need to be obtained before the assets may be closed, sold, or otherwise transferred. Assets and accounts worth less than $25,000 do not need a release.
  • No release is necessary for assets held jointly between husband and wife, nor for obligations of the United States of America, such as Saving Bonds.
  • Requests for extensions to file the estate tax return must be sent directly to the Ohio Department of Taxation, Estate Tax Division.

Important Legislative Notice

The Ohio Legislature has passed Senate Bill 108. This would reduce the State's share of the estate tax and raise the value of the estate before the estate taxes would be due. These changes would take effect for dates of death after January 1, 2001. For additional details go the Legislative Service Commission website.

Additional Information

The Ohio Department of Taxation has available on its world wide web site the various forms needed for Estate Tax. You can also contact our office for any necessary forms. If you need additional assistance, please contact an attorney or the Ohio Department of Taxation. The Department’s address is:
Ohio Department of Taxation
Estate Tax Division
800 Freeway Drive North
Columbus, OH 43229-5404