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Is there an inheritance tax?

June 8, 2017

 

At both the state and federal level, there is no such thing as an inheritance tax. 

 

That's the simple answer. But if you want to look a little deeper into capital gains and selling an inherited asset, then consider this example:

 

Assume your uncle bought a house in New York 20 years ago for $100,000. His tax basis in the house was $100,000. He died last month and left you the house. You inherited the house tax free because there's no such thing as an inheritance tax.

 

Your tax basis in your newly inherited house is not $100,000 (as it was for your uncle), but is instead $900,000 because that's what the house was worth on the market as of your uncle's death.

 

Two months later, you decide to sell the house because you have more of a need for cash to help fund your kids' college educations than you do for a house in New York. Selling the house will get you more or less $900,000.

 

The result: Not only did you not pay a tax when you inherited the house, but because you sold the house for about the same price as your tax basis, you will pay very little (if any) capital gains taxes.

 

 

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