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The stand-alone Washington estate tax took effect May 17, 2005. The estate tax incorporates some provisions of the Internal Revenue Code as it existed on January 1, 2005. The Washington estate tax was not affected by the repeal of the federal estate tax in 2010, the portability election of 2011 or other federal code changes after January 1, 2005.

Who must file a Washington return?

For deaths May 17, 2005 through December 31, 2013, the executor must file a Washington estate tax return if the decedent owned property in Washington State and the gross estate exceeds the thresholds listed below, even if no tax is due.

What is the filing threshold?

Year Death Occurred

Filing Threshold
(Gross estate)

May 17 - December 31, 2005 $1,500,000 or more
2006 through 2013 $2,000,000 or more

Note: If an estate is required to file a federal return, then it is required to file a Washington estate tax return.

How do I pay the tax?

To pay the estate tax, file one of the following returns:

When is the estate tax return due?

Nine months after the date of death.

How do I file for an extension?

When you are applying for your federal extension, send us a copy of the Federal Form 4768 at the time of filing. If you are not filing a Federal Form 706, submit the Application for Extension of Time to File a Washington State Estate and Transfer Tax Return. (Fill-In or Print) If an estate tax payment may be due, include the estimated Washington tax payment with the extension request. Payment received after the due date will accrue interest.

How is the tax calculated?

The tax is calculated using the Washington taxable estate and Table W. The “Washington taxable estate” means the gross estate less:

  • Allowable deductions on Schedules J, K, L, M and O.
  • $1.5 million for deaths May 17, 2005 to December 31, 2005 or $2 million for deaths January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2013.
  • The amount of real or tangible personal property that qualifies for a farm deduction.

Where do I mail my forms (extension, payment, return)?

Extensions, payments and estate tax returns are mailed to:

Washington State Department of Revenue
PO Box 47488
Olympia WA 98504-7488

What are the funds used for?

Funds are distributed to the Education Legacy Trust Fund.

Who can I contact if I still have questions?

E-mail your question, or call us at (360) 534-1503 and press 2 to speak with an estate tax examiner.