How to Calculate New York Estate Tax

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In addition to sales tax, property tax, income tax, and capital gains tax, there also may be an estate tax that is paid out of your estate upon death. Specifically, it is the tax on your right to transfer property to another person or entity upon death. The exact amount paid is determined by each state and is usually a percentage of the total fair market value of the items in your estate. According to the IRS, the estate tax only affects the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. New York is a state that imposes an estate tax.

  • Calculate the fair market value of all assets in the estate and add those values together. Assets include cash and securities, real estate, insurance, trusts, annuities, business interests and other assets. For the purposes of this article, assume the fair market value of all assets in the estate is $5 million.

  • Deduct certain expenses from the gross amount calculated in Step 1. These deductions can vary; however, they may include mortgages and other liabilities, administration expenses, property that transfers to surviving spouses and qualified charities. In the example for this article, assume the deductions add up to $1 million, and the adjusted estate value is $4 million.

  • Review the most recent New York estate tax rules and regulations. While the process for calculating the estate tax remains the same, the rules associated with estate tax change frequently. Visit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finances website for the most recent estate tax rules.

  • Determine the current estate tax threshold. New York does not require all estates to file an estate tax, only those over a certain threshold. As of 2011, that threshold is $1 million. That is, estates valued at less than $1 million do not have to pay an estate tax to be transferred.

  • Calculate the New York estate tax. The current tax rate depends on the value of the estate. Visit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance website for the year's tax rates. Based on the example used in this article, the tax amount is $1,290,800 plus 55 percent of any value over $3 million. In this case that amount is $550,000. The total estate tax is $1,840,800.

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