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Estate Tax Frequently Asked Questions

Ohio Department of Taxation - TAX ALERT

Date: December 19, 2012
Effective: January 1, 2013

Ohio Estate Tax Update:  For details about the repeal of the Ohio Estate Tax House Bill 153, 129th General Assembly, click here to read the FAQ for the Esate Tax Unit's website.

Download a copy of the Tax Alert Notice

What is the Ohio Estate Tax?

The Ohio Estate Tax is reported and calculated on the Ohio Estate Tax Return (E.T. Form 2). The estate tax includes assets owned by a decedent solely or in conjunction with another person. The tax is based upon the date of death value of all assets less any debts and expenses. The estate tax return booklet is available from the probate court or the Ohio Department of Taxation Estate Tax Division.    

Estate Tax Return Filing Requirements: When do I file?

An estate tax return is due nine months from the date of death. Extensions to the filing deadline may be obtained, if timely requested, through the Department of Taxation, Estate Tax Division. (E.T. 24). For dates of death on or after January 1, 2000 an automatic 6 month extension will be granted, allowing you to file a return within 15 months from the date of death.    

Who must file?

The Ohio Estate Tax Return must be filed if the following minimum filing requirement are met:
 Date of Death  Gross Estate Amount
 Prior to 12/31/00  $25,000.00 and over
 1/1/01 to 12/31/01  $200,000.00 and over
 1/1/02 and beyond  $338,333.00 and over

However, if the estate representative feels the necessity to file where there is real estate involved, a modified Certificate of Estate Tax Payment and Real Property Disclosure form 22 revised 12/00 can be obtained from Probate Court or the Ohio Estate Tax Division. A tax release (E.T. Forms 12 & 14 revised 09/07) is required by all financial institutions for the transfer of assets held in the name of the decedent. Financial institutions are required to freeze all accounts over $25,000.00 on the death of the accountholder until a tax release is presented. Tax releases will only be required on accounts over $25,000 unless held in a trust, then a release is necessary for any amount. Assets held jointly with the surviving spouse only are not required to be released.  

How are employer death benefits and annuities released?

In order for death benefit proceeds to be transferred, an approved E.T. Form 13 (revised 10/07) must be submitted to the institution holding the asset. Examples of the types of benefits released by this form are: annuities, KEOGH, 401K plans, bonuses, profit sharing plans, or other contracts administered by insurance companies or employers. Once again, this is only required for assets in excess of $25,000.00 per account. Tax releases are not necessary for life insurance payable to a named beneficiary.  

Safe Deposit Box

Effective January 1, 2001, safe deposit boxes will no longer be required to be inventoried by our office regardless of the date of death. Safe Deposit Box inventories are required for Guardianship Boxes Only.    

When is the estate tax due, and to whom is it paid?

Estate taxes are due nine months from the date of death. Interest will accrue for any late payments and can be computed at the County Fiscal Office. Checks should be made payable to the Cuyahoga County Treasurer and are paid at the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office, Cuyahoga County Administrative Headquarters, 2079 East Ninth Street - 4th Floor, Cleveland, Ohio 44115.  

Where Do I File?

The estate tax return must be filed in duplicate at the probate court in the county where the decedent was domiciled at date of death.    

What if I need additional information?

You can call Ohio Estate Tax Department, Estate Tax Division Answer line at 1-800-977-7711 or the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office at (216) 443-7010.