Estate Tax


Georgia does not have a gift tax or an inheritance tax, but it does have an estate tax for estates of decedents with a date of death before January 1, 2005. The tax is an amount equal to the amount allowable as a credit for state death taxes under Section 2011 of the Internal Revenue Code. In effect, the estate taxes paid to Georgia may be used to reduce the estate taxes due IRS. The amount due may be determined by reference to the instructions for preparation of federal form 706. Also see IRS Publication 950.

Georgia does not have a separate estate tax form. A duplicate of the United States Estate Tax Return (form 706) must be filed with Georgia when:

    1. The date of death occurs in a year for which the Internal Revenue Code allows a credit for state death taxes. No duplicate return is to be filed for a decedent whose date of death occurs in a year in which the Internal Revenue Code grants a deduction, rather than a credit, for state death taxes.
    2. The decedent was a resident of Georgia, or the decedent was a nonresident and owned property located in Georgia.
    3. If no estate tax return is required to be filed with Internal Revenue, no Georgia estate tax filing is required.

Generally, the duplicate of form 706 should be filed with Georgia on the date the original return is filed with IRS. Overdue and unpaid liabilities are subject to interest and penalties. Forms may be secured by contacting IRS.

For estates of decedents with a date of death after December 31, 2004, Georgia estate tax does not apply to any estate with a date of death that occurred in a year for which the Internal Revenue Code does not allow a credit for state death taxes.  

Please use the following address when mailing anything related to Georgia estate tax (not fiduciary income tax):

  Georgia Department of Revenue
Processing Center
P.O. Box 740320
Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0320

If applying for an extension of time to file, and paying estimated Georgia estate tax, submit a copy of federal extension form 4768, marked "State copy" or "Georgia copy", with payment stapled to the front.

Please do not use Georgia income tax forms, such as 500-ES, IT-560 or IT-303 when paying estimated Georgia estate tax.

Following is a copy of Georgia’s estate tax law, Section 48-12 of the Official Code of Georgia.

48-12-1. Definition.

As used in this chapter, the term "federal filing date" means the date by which the federal estate tax return must be filed as required by the Internal Revenue Code.

§ 48-12-1.1 -- Date of death in year for which credit for state death taxes not allowed; application of chapter.

This chapter shall not apply to any estate with a date of death which occurred in a year for which the Internal Revenue Code does not allow a credit for state death taxes.

(§ 48-12-1.1 enacted by L. 2005, Act 31, § 26, applicable to estates of decedents with a date of death after 12-31-04.)

48-12-2. Resident decedents; filing duplicate of federal estate tax return; procedure; payment of state estate tax equal to federal credit; interest; reduction for tax credit arising from property taxed in another state; payment of additional tax plus interest for increased federal credit; refund of overpayment plus interest for decreased credit.

(a) It shall be the duty of the personal representative of the estate of any individual who dies a resident of this state and whose estate is subject to the filing of a federal estate tax return to file with the commissioner a duplicate of the federal estate tax return which the personal representative is required to file with the federal authorities. The duplicate estate tax return must be filed within the time period required for filing the return with the federal authorities, including any extensions to the period for filing, and shall be filed not later than the date on which the estate tax return is filed with the federal authorities. If the duplicate return is filed after the federal filing date, not including any extensions, the personal representative shall attach to the duplicate return filed with the commissioner a copy of the written approval received from the federal authorities granting an extension of time for filing. (b) On or before the date the duplicate return is filed with the commissioner, the personal representative shall pay to the state a tax in an amount equal to the amount allowable as a credit for state death taxes under Section 2011 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. If the tax is paid later than the federal filing date, not including any extensions, the personal representative shall pay interest on the tax at the rate specified in Code Section 48-2-40 from the filing date to the time of payment. If the decedent owned at the time of his death either real property in another state or personal property having a business situs in another state and the other state requires the payment of a tax for which credit is received against federal estate taxes, any tax due under this chapter shall be reduced by an amount which bears the same ratio to the total state tax credit allowable for federal estate tax purposes as the value of the property taxable in the other state bears to the value of the entire gross estate for federal estate tax purposes. (c) If, after the filing of a duplicate return and the payment of the state estate tax and any interest due on the state estate tax, the amount allowable as a credit for state death taxes as finally determined by the federal authorities for federal estate tax purposes is increased or decreased with respect to the amount shown on the original return, the personal representative of the estate shall file with the commissioner, within 30 days of the federal adjustment, a copy of the documentation received from the federal authorities and such other or additional documentation as the commissioner may require showing all changes made in the original return and the increase or decrease in the amount allowable as a credit for state death taxes. On or before the date of the filing of the documentation, the personal representative shall pay any additional tax due the state plus interest on such tax at the rate specified in Code Section 48-2-40 from the federal filing date, not including any extensions, to the date of the payment. In the event of a decrease in the credit for state death taxes, the commissioner shall refund to the estate any overpayment of the tax imposed by this Code section, plus interest at the rate specified in Code Section 48-2-40 from the federal filing date, not including any extensions, to the date of payment of the refund.

48-12-3.

Nonresident decedents owning real property in state or personal property having business situs in state; filing duplicate of federal estate tax return; procedure; payment of state estate tax; payment of additional tax plus interest for increased federal credit; refund plus interest for decreased credit.

It shall be the duty of the personal representative of the estate of any individual who dies a nonresident of this state but who owns or controls real property located in this state or personal property having a business situs in this state and whose estate is subject to the filing of a federal estate tax return to file with the commissioner a duplicate of the federal estate tax return which the personal representative is required to make to the federal authorities and to pay a tax, including interest on the tax, at the time and under the terms and conditions as set forth in Code Section 48-12-2 for the estates of resident decedents. The amount of tax to be paid by the personal representative pursuant to this Code section shall be that amount which bears the same ratio to the total state tax credit allowable for federal estate tax purposes as the value of the property taxable in this state bears to the value of the entire gross estate for federal estate tax purposes. If, after the filing of a duplicate return and the payment of the state estate tax and any interest due on the state estate tax, the amount allowable as a credit for state death taxes as finally determined for federal estate tax purposes by the federal authorities is increased or decreased with respect to the amount shown on the original return, the personal representative of the estate shall file with the commissioner a copy of the documentation received from the federal authorities and such other or additional documentation as the commissioner may require showing all changes made in the original return and the increase or decrease in the amount allowable as a credit for state death taxes. The personal representative shall pay any additional tax due plus interest on such tax or shall receive a refund for any overpayment of the tax plus interest on the amount of the refund at the time and under the terms and conditions as set forth in Code Section 48-12-2 for the estates of resident decedents.

48-12-4.

Extension of time for filing duplicate return; limit; application; extension for payment of tax; application; termination; payment of tax plus interest upon termination; bond.

(a) In addition to the extension authorized by Code Section 48-12-2, the time for filing a duplicate of the federal estate tax return with the commissioner as required by this chapter may be extended for a period not to exceed six months after the federal filing date, not including any extensions, when a written application requesting the extension is made by the personal representative of the estate to the commissioner on or before the federal filing date, not including any extensions. Any extension of time for filing a duplicate of the federal estate tax return granted by the commissioner shall not operate to extend the time for payment of the taxes imposed by this chapter, except that an extension of time may be separately granted by the commissioner to pay any such tax in accordance with Section 6161 of the Internal Revenue Code as provided in this Code section. (b) An extension of time for paying the state estate tax or any portion of the tax as required by this chapter may be granted by the commissioner upon the same terms and conditions, in the same manner, and to the same extent as provided for the extension of time to pay the federal estate tax under Section 6161 of the Internal Revenue Code when a written application requesting the extension is made by the personal representative of the estate to the commissioner on or before the federal filing date, not including any extensions. Any extension of time granted under this Code section shall terminate immediately upon the termination of the extension granted by the federal authorities unless earlier terminated by Section 6161 of the Internal Revenue Code. Within 30 days from the notification of termination by the federal authorities, the personal representative shall pay to the commissioner any estate tax due, plus interest on the tax, as provided in this chapter, but without any penalty as provided in this chapter. If an extension of time for the payment of tax or deficiency is granted, the commissioner may require, if he deems it necessary, a bond for the payment of the amount in respect to which the extension is granted, but the bond shall not exceed double the amount with respect to which the extension is granted. The bond shall be executed with surety satisfactory to the commissioner.

48-12-5.

Untimely filing of duplicate return of decedent’s estate; assessment of estate for state estate tax; production of evidence; notice to personal representative of amount of tax and interest due.

When a duplicate return is not timely filed with the commissioner by the personal representative of the estate as required by this chapter, the commissioner may appraise and assess the estate for state estate taxes, plus interest due on the taxes, in accordance with the format of the federal estate tax return. The commissioner shall have full power and authority to require the production of all evidence that will enable him to determine the value of all property of the estate subject to the tax imposed by this chapter. The commissioner shall notify the personal representative of the amount of the state estate tax, plus interest on the tax, found to be due from the estate of the decedent.

48-12-6.

Failure to pay timely tax assessed or failure to pay tax on or before filing; issuance of execution; enforcement; interest; penalty.

Whenever the personal representative of any estate fails to pay the amount of tax assessed against the estate, plus interest on the tax, pursuant to Code Section 48-12-5 within 30 days after notice from the commissioner as to the amount to be paid or whenever the personal representative timely files a duplicate return as required by Code Sections 48-12-2 and 48-12-3 but fails to pay the state estate tax due on or before the filing, the commissioner shall issue an execution against the estate for the amount of the tax, plus interest due on the tax to the date of the issuance of execution and the amount of any penalty as provided in this Code section. The execution shall be enforced by levy and sale and shall bear interest on the amount of the tax at the rate specified in Code Section 48-2-40 from the date of execution until paid. An additional penalty in an amount equal to 10 percent of the amount of the credit for state death taxes as finally determined for federal estate tax purposes shall be paid by the personal representative of the estate to the commissioner for failure to file a duplicate of the federal estate tax return as required by Code Sections 48-12-2 and 48-12-3 or for failure to pay the tax within 30 days after notice from the commissioner as to the amount to be paid.

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