Estates of New Jersey residents are potentially subject to two types of state taxes: New Jersey Estate Tax and New Jersey Inheritance Tax.
First, an estate is subject to New Jersey Estate Tax if the value of the estate is more than $675,000.00. This tax is based solely on the value of the assets held by a person when they die, whether held individually or jointly with another person. If the value of the estate exceeds $675,000 a New Jersey Estate Tax Return (NJ IT-E) must be filed within nine months after death.
Second, the requirement to file New Jersey Inheritance Tax Return (NJ IT-R) is triggered by the classification of the estate’s beneficiaries. The NJ IT-R must be filed within eight months after death. The tax is determined by the relationship of each beneficiary to the decedent. Class “A” beneficiaries are not required to file or pay New Jersey Inheritance Tax. Class “A” beneficiaries are spouses, children (or lineal descendants), parents, grandchildren, grandparents, or stepchildren. There is also no inheritance tax on bequests to a qualified charity. Since, these are usually who most people leave their estates to, most estates are not subject to the New Jersey Inheritance tax.
If a person leaves property to a brother, sister, son-in-law or daughter-in-law (these are class “C” beneficiaries), the New Jersey Inheritance Tax Return must be filed. The first $25,000 of the bequest is not subject to inheritance tax. However, the next $1,075,000 is subject to tax at a rate of 11%; amounts in excess of that are taxed on a sliding rate scale ranging from 13% to 16%.