Estate Tax

O.R.C. Section 5731.39
513-695-1235

Ohio Estate Tax returns - filing no longer required for the estates of individuals
with a date of death on or after January 1, 2013

As an agent for the Ohio Tax Commissioner, the County Auditor is responsible for the collection and settlement of Estate/Inheritance Tax in Warren County in accordance with Ohio Law.

Ohio Estate Tax Returns: An Ohio Estate Tax Return is to be filed within nine months after a person's date of death, and is reported and calculated on the Ohio Estate Tax Return (E.T. Form 2). Requirements for filing an estate with probate and non-probate assets, effective January 1, 2002, are as follows:

  • If the date of death is on or after July 1, 1968, but before January 1, 2001, and the gross assets of the estate are more than $25,000 in value, you must file an Ohio Estate Tax Return. If the estate gross value is under $25,000, no return is required to be filed.
  • If the date of death is on or after January 1, 2001, but before January 1, 2002, and the gross assets of the estate are more than $200,000 in value, you must file an Ohio Estate Tax Return. If the estate gross value is under $200,000, you may, but shall not be required to file a return.
  • If the date of death is on or after January 1, 2002, and the gross assets of the estate are more than $338,333 in value, you must file an Ohio Estate Tax Return. If the estate gross value is under $338,333, you may, but shall not be required to file a return.

However, if the estate representative feels the necessity where there is real estate involved, there is a one page tax return (E.T. Form 1-B) for that purpose.

A tax is levied on the transfer of the taxable estate of every person dying on or after July 1, 1968, who at the time of death was a resident of this state, as follows:

If the taxable estate is: The tax shall be:
Not over $40,000 2% of the taxable estate
Over $40,000 but not over $100,000 $800 plus 3% of the excess over $40,000
Over $100,000 but not over $200,000 $2,600 plus 4% of the excess over $100,000
Over $200,000 but not over $300,000 $6,600 plus 5% of the excess over $200,000
Over $300,000 but not over $500,000 $11,600 plus 6% of the excess over $300,000
Over $500,000 $23,600 plus 7% of the excess over $500,000

The estate tax is assessed upon the total assets owned by a decedent either solely or in conjunction with another person. The tax is based upon the date of death value of all assets less any expenses that are incurred, outstanding debts owed by the decedent, bequests to charitable institutions, bequests to a surviving spouse and the estate tax credit. Effective January 2, 2002, the estate tax credit is as follows:

  • $500 for dates of death on or after January 1, 1968, but before January 1, 2001.
  • $6,600 for dates of death on or after January 1, 2001, but before January 1, 2002.
  • $13,900 for dates of death on or after January 1, 2002.

The estate tax return booklet containing general instructions is available from the Probate Court or the Ohio Department of Taxation, Estate Tax Division.

The Estate tax return must be filed in duplicate at the Probate Court of the county where the decedent was domiciled at date of death. A Certificate of Estate Tax Payment And Real Property Disclosure (E.T. Form 22) must accompany the estate tax return. The original tax return, along with Part II of Form 22 must then be filed with the County Auditor.

Effective for dates of death on or before January 1, 2001, the Tax Commissioner has authorized an automatic six-month extension of time to file the Ohio Estate Tax Return. This permits estates with a date of death on or after January 1, 2000 to have a total of 15 months to file the return. This policy change will be implemented subject to the following provisions:

  • Any additional six-month extensions must be requested in writing on the E.T. Form 24 prior to the expiration of the 15-month deadline. This can be done via facsimile, hand-delivery, or mailed directly to the Ohio Department of Taxation, Estate Tax Division.
  • INTEREST ON ANY ESTATE TAX DUE WILL BE CALCULATED FROM NINE MONTHS FROM DATE OF DEATH REGARDLESS IF THE ESTATE UTILIZES THE AUTOMATIC OR ADDITIONAL EXTENSIONS.
  • Elections for Qualified Farm Use (CAUV) and Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) will be accepted up to 15 months after the date of death. Any returns not filed prior to that deadline that do not have an additional, approved extension of time to file will not qualify for those elections.

Tax Release: A tax release is usually the first notification that the Tax Department has of a possible estate and subsequent filing. The purpose for the tax release is twofold. First, the estate representatives are going to need access to money for administration purposes. Financial institutions are required to freeze accounts once they know there is a death. To relieve the estate of problems with cash flow, the statute permits a release of funds once the proper forms are filed with the Auditor's Office. The second reason for requiring a tax release is one of verification. The Ohio Tax Commissioner must make sure that all assets held by the decedent appear on the tax return once it is filed. By requiring a release to remove the decedent's name from accounts, stock, etc., we are creating documentation from which estate assets can be verified. (A tax release may be obtained even if there has not yet been a probate case number assigned to the estate).

Effective January 1, 2001, a tax release is no longer required for assets equal to $25,000 or less per account.

The release forms used depend upon the type of asset to be released or transferred and the state of domicile of the decedent. The following are some of the most frequently used release documents:

  • E.T. Form 12 - Application For Consent To Transfer Property Or Other Interest Of A Resident Decedent
  • E.T. Form 14 - Tax Release
  • E.T. Form 12-14 - Application For Consent To Transfer Property Or Other Interest Of A Resident Decedent (includes tax release)
  • E.T. Form 13 - Application For Consent To Transfer The Proceeds Of Insurance Contracts, Employer Death Benefits And Retirement Plans For Resident and Non-Resident Decedents
All forms are available, free of charge, from the Ohio Department of Taxation. Forms can be ordered directly from the Ohio Department of Taxation, Estate Tax Division, 800 Freeway Drive North, Columbus, Ohio 43229. You may use the Ohio Department of Taxation, Estate Tax Division Order Form, E.T. Form 25 to place an order. Phone orders: 1-800-977-7711 or FAX: 614-895-5727.

Safe Deposit Box Inventory: Effective January 1, 2001, the tax commissioner will no longer require the inventory of a safe deposit box upon the death of the owner, co-owner or any other person having access to the box, regardless of the date of death. The only exception will be when the Probate Court gives a specific instruction to do so.

Prior to January 1, 2001, the policy was that the County Auditor's Office must inventory all safe deposit boxes located within their county, regardless of whether or not the decedent was domiciled in said county. State law required that an inventory be taken where the decedent had access to the box, whether he/she was the owner or assigned as a deputy.