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The current Washington estate tax took effect May 17, 2005. This is a stand-alone tax that incorporates some provisions to the Internal Revenue Code as of January 1, 2005. However, the Washington estate tax is not affected by the termination of the federal estate tax in 2010.

Who must file a Washington return?

For deaths on or after May 17, 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 exceeds the thresholds listed below.

What is the filing threshold?

Year Death Occurred

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

May 17 - December 31, 2005 $1,500,000 or more
2006 and after $2,000,000 or more

Note: If an estate is required to file a federal return, then it is required to file a  Washington State Estate Tax Return.  If the estate is over the filing threshold a state return is required, even if no tax is due.

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, including estimated Washington tax, if any. 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)

Note:  The Federal Tax Relief Act of 2010 does not change the filing requirements for Washington.  The due date for either the Washington estate tax return and estate tax payment or a request for an extension to file the Washington estate tax return and an estimated payment is nine months after the decedent’s date of death. 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 federal taxable estate before deducting state estate, inheritance, legacy, or succession taxes less:

  • $1.5 million for deaths May 17, 2005 to December 31, 2005 or $2 million for deaths on or after January 1, 2006
  • 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.

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