New Jersey has had an Inheritance Tax since 1892, when a tax was imposed on property transferred from a deceased person to a beneficiary. Inheritance Tax is based on who specifically will receive or has received a decedent’s assets, and how much each beneficiary is entitled to receive.
When someone dies, the assets he/she owns must go somewhere or to someone. When these assets are transferred from the name of the person who died (“the decedent”) to someone else (“the beneficiary”), the State of New Jersey may impose a tax on this “transfer” of ownership.
The amount of tax imposed depends on several factors:
There are two types of Inheritance Tax, resident and non-resident. This is based on where the person legally lived when he/she passed away. See Decedent Information for more information on resident and non-resident Inheritance Tax.
On January 1, 2018, under current law, the New Jersey Estate Tax will no longer be imposed for individuals who die on or after that date.
History of New Jersey’s Estate Tax
The New Jersey Estate Tax originated in 1934. It was based on the size of the entire estate and did not break down the distribution of assets beyond exemptions for spouses and charities.
In all cases, if the decedent was not a resident of New Jersey, there was no New Jersey Estate Tax due.
In New Jersey, the Inheritance Tax was a credit against the Estate Tax; an estate paid only the higher of the two.
The New Jersey Estate Tax was phased out in two parts. If the resident decedent died:
To have your Inheritance and Estate Tax questions answered by a Division representative, inquire as to the status of an Inheritance or Estate Tax matter, or have Inheritance and Estate Tax forms mailed to you, contact the Inheritance and Estate Tax Service Center by: