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California Estate Tax

The State Controller's Office, Tax Administration Section, administers the Estate Tax, Inheritance Tax, and Gift Tax programs for the State of California.

The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, phased out the state death tax credit over a four (4) year period beginning January 2002. Effective January 1, 2005, the state death tax credit has been eliminated.

The information below summarizes the filing requirements for Estate, Inheritance, and/or Gift Tax:

  • For decedents that die on or after January 1, 2005, there is no longer a requirement to file a California Estate Tax Return.
  • For decedents that die after June 8, 1982, and before January 1, 2005, a California Estate Tax Return is required to be filed with the State Controller's Office if a federal estate tax return (Form 706) is being filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
  • For decedents that died on or prior to June 8, 1982, the State Controller's Office will continue to collect the Inheritance Tax.
  • For gifts made prior to June 8, 1982, the State Controller's Office will continue to collect the Gift Tax.                
  • Estate Tax and Inheritance Tax Desk Review Revenues 
  • The California GST tax shall not apply to the generation-skipping transfers after December 31, 2004.                                                     

The State Controller's Office: