Q&A: Estate tax versus inheritance tax

Dear Liz: In a recent column, you wrote that “only six states … have inheritance taxes.” My state of Oregon is not listed. Oregon certainly has an estate tax (one of the highest in the U.S.) and Washington also has one.

Answer: Many people confuse estate and inheritance taxes, but they’re not the same thing.

As the name implies, estate taxes are taxes levied on the dead person’s estate. The federal government, 12 states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington) and the District of Columbia have estate taxes.

Only the six states mentioned in the previous column — Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — have an inheritance tax, which is levied on the person who inherits. New Jersey had an estate tax, but that was repealed in 2018, leaving Maryland as the only state with both types of tax.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Which states have estate and inheritance taxes. Also in the news: Why making money with online games is a bad bet, cities with the most and fewest young homeowners, and a decade after the Great Recession, 1 in 3 Americans still haven’t recovered.

Which States Have Estate and Inheritance Taxes?
How about your state?

Making Money With Online Games Is a Bad Bet
Don’t get lured in.

Millennial Homeownership: Cities With the Most and Fewest Young Homeowners
Where does your city rank?

A decade after Great Recession, 1 in 3 Americans still haven’t recovered
Women and African-Americans have been the hardest hit.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to take the heat off your summer budget. Also in the news: How to find out if you’ll owe taxes on an inheritance, 3 things your student loan servicer might not tell you, and what happens to your credit score when you transfer a balance.

How to Take the Heat Off Your Summer Budget
Keep your costs in check.

Find Out If You’ll Owe Taxes on an Inheritance
Don’t spend all that money quite yet.

3 Things Your Student Loan Servicer Might Not Tell You
They’re not always forthcoming.

What Happens to Your Credit Score When You Transfer a Balance?
Looking at the numbers.