Inheritance Tax

In Pennsylvania, inheritance tax is imposed on all assets that transfer upon death.

Tax Rates

The tax rates are as follows:

  • 0% on transfers to spouses and charities
  • 4.5% on transfers to "lineal" descendants (parents, grandparents, children, sons and daughters-in-law)
  • 12% on transfers to siblings
  • 15% on transfers to any other person.

A discount of 5% of tax due is allowed for whatever portion of the tax is paid within three months of the decedent's death.

Filing Requisites

  • All Inheritance Tax payment checks must be made payable to: “Register of Wills, Agent”
  • All Inheritance Tax Returns should include at least the following schedules:
    1. Recapitulation (Cover) Sheet
    2. Schedule H (debts and deductions)
    3. Schedule J (beneficiaries)
    4. Any additional schedules pertinent to the estate
    5. Copy of will (if any)
    6.  Any explanatory documentation of Department of Revenue (deeds, trusts, appraisals, settlement sheets, etc. may be attached to the return for forwarding to Harrisburg)
  • File applicable schedules only (No schedule marked “none” should be filed).
  • Filing fees are listed on the Register of Wills Fee Schedule page. If no Letters have been granted, there is no fee to file the Rev 1500.
  • Filing fees must accompany all Inheritance Tax Returns at the time of filing.
  • Inheritance Tax Filings and/or payments must be made in the county where the deceased resided.
  • Inheritance Tax Returns are due nine months from date of death.
  • Properties jointly held by husband and wife are considered non-probate assets but may be required to report although taxed at 0% tax rate for surviving spouse. Jointly-held assets with individual(s) other than a spouse are generally subject to tax.
  • Two original inheritance tax returns and a separate Inventory must be filed, effective September 1, 2016. Pennsylvania Department of Revenue now requires an original return for their optical character recognition software. Revenue will no longer accept photostatic copies of Inheritance Tax Returns.


Inheritance Tax Forms can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue website.