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Deaths on or before May 16, 2005

Who must file a Washington return?

For deaths on or before May 16, 2005 a Washington Estate Tax Return must be filed by the personal representative if the decedent owned property in Washington State and the gross estate, or the taxable estate plus taxable gifts, exceeds the threshold.

What is the filing threshold?

The following chart shows the filing thresholds through May 16, 2005. For years prior to 2002, see our Filing Thresholds table.

Year Death Occurred

Filing Threshold
(Gross estate or taxable estate plus any taxable gifts)

Unified Credit
2002 - 2003
$1,000,000 or more $345,800
2004 - May 16, 2005
$1,500,000 or more $555,800

How do I pay the tax?

The following documents are needed to pay the estate tax:

  • A complete copy of the federal 706 return, if you are required to file one
  • Copy of approved form 4768, Application for Extension of Time to File and/or Pay, if applicable.
  • A copy of the death certificate
  • A certified copy of the will, if one exists and/or trusts; copies of Letters of Administration or Letters of Testementary, if any;
  • Copy of other state estate tax returns/proof of payment (necessary to reconcile credit for tax paid to other states);
  • All supporting documentation for completed return schedules;
  • Payment, if tax is due

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, simply send us a copy of the Federal form 4768 at the time of filing, including estimated Washington tax, if any.


How much estate tax is owed to the state of Washington?

Death occurred
in year:
Taxpayers owe:
2001 & prior 100% of the state death tax credit to the state of Washington
2002 75% of the state death tax credit to the state of Washington
2003 50% of the state death tax credit to the state of Washington
2004 25% of the state death tax credit to the state of Washington
2005 0% of the state death tax credit to the state of Washington

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 about deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2005?

If an estate is required to file a federal return, then it is required to file a  Washington State Estate Tax Return (pdf).  A state return is required, although no tax will be due, for deaths through May 16, 2005. If the death occured after May 16, 2005, see Deaths on or after May 17, 2005.


What are the funds used for?

Funds are distributed to the state general fund.


What about the class action law suit?

In a class action suit, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that under chapter 83.100 RCW, the Department of Revenue must conform to the changes made by Congress in 2001 (Public Law 107-16 (H.R. 1836)) and that class action members are entitled to a refund of estate tax paid.

Estates for deaths on January 1, 2002 to May 16, 2005 may be due a refund if they paid more than the allowed State Death Tax Credit on the Federal form 706. For more information, click here.


E-mail your question, or call us at (360) 534-1503.


More information

Estate tax installment plans for businesses

Frequently Asked Questions

Interest Rates

Listserv E-mail Service:  Receive notifications about the new estate tax return, law changes and other important estate tax information


Forms & publications

Tax Reference Manual (pdf)



Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 83.100