Estate tax and inheritance tax: what's the difference?

  • by:
  • Source: USA TODAY
  • 02/12/2024

Nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes, Benjamin Franklin said. But even death can't bring relief from taxes. 

Yes, death can be a tax-triggering event. And there are two you should be aware of: the estate tax and inheritance tax.

Many people think they’re the same, but they aren’t.

The estate tax is levied on the things the deceased owns or has certain interests in when they die. The inheritance tax is paid by the heir.

The federal government has an estate tax only, but states can have one, both, or none, which can make death taxes even more confusing. 

1 U.S.A dollar banknotes by Alexander Grey is licensed under Unsplash

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