Does Illinois have Estate Tax? Everything You Need to Know

Illinois levies an estate tax on assets transferred after death based on the total estate value. Read about effective estate planning, including deductions or smart gifts, and how it can reduce tax rates ranging from 0.8% to 16%. The tax, which applies to both residents and non-residents with significant assets in the state, permits deductions for marital inheritances, charitable contributions, as well as certain expenses.
Does Illinois have Estate Tax?
Does Illinois have Estate Tax? Everything You Need to Know
Depending on the total estate value, Illinois charges an estate tax on assets transferred after death. Understand estate planning, marital inheritances, deductions, and much more that can help reduce taxes.
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An estate tax is a financial levy imposed on transferring an individual’s assets upon death. The tax is calculated based on the total value of the deceased person’s estate, including real estate, financial holdings, and other assets.

Different jurisdictions have varying thresholds and rates for estate taxation. Estate tax aims to generate revenue for the government and prevent the accumulation of substantial wealth within families.

Effective estate planning often involves strategies to minimize this tax burden, such as utilizing deductions and exemptions or making strategic gifts during one’s lifetime.

So, does Illinois have estate tax? Let’s find out! Also, use Beem’s tax filing service, which assures a maximum refund, 100% accuracy at no additional fees.

Illinois Estate Tax

The Illinois Estate Tax imposes levies on estates exceeding $4 million, impacting residents and nonresidents with significant assets in the state.

A gross estate surpassing the $4 million threshold for Illinois residents requires filing an estate tax return within nine months of death. It encompasses real estate, financial accounts, and business interests. Notably, Illinois lacks portability between spouses, necessitating careful estate planning.

The tax rates range from 0.8% to 16%, with deductions available for marital bequests, charitable contributions, and certain expenses. Nonresidents owning property or tangible assets exceeding $4 million in Illinois also fall under the purview of this tax.

Estate planning strategies, including annual exclusion gifts and life insurance planning, offer avenues to mitigate the impact of the Illinois Estate Tax, underscoring the importance of proactive financial management in preserving assets for beneficiaries.

Illinois Estate Tax Applies to?

The Illinois Estate Tax applies to both residents and nonresidents under specific circumstances. For residents, estates valued at more than $4 million are subject to this tax, necessitating an estate tax return filing within nine months of the individual’s death.

Nonresidents also come under its scope if they own real estate or tangible assets in Illinois exceeding $4 million.

The taxable estate includes a comprehensive range of assets, while the tax rates are progressive, ranging from 0.8% to 16%.

While Illinois does not offer portability between spouses, certain deductions, including those for marital bequests and charitable contributions, can help reduce the taxable value. Understanding the criteria and seeking professional guidance is crucial for effective estate planning and managing the impact of the Illinois Estate Tax.

Also Read: How to Avoid Illinois Estate Tax?

What Is the Illinois Estate Tax Rate?

The Illinois Estate Tax features a graduated rate structure based on the size of the taxable estate, ranging from 0.8% to 16%. This progressive system imposes higher tax rates on larger estates.

For estates falling within the $1 million to $2 million range, the tax rate is 8%, while estates exceeding $10.04 million face a maximum rate of 16%. The estate’s value intricately determines the specific tax rates, allowing for a nuanced approach to taxation.

Compared to the federal estate tax rate of 40%, Illinois’ rates provide a relatively lower but still substantial impact on larger estates.

Understanding these rates is essential for estate planning, enabling individuals to make informed decisions to optimize the distribution of assets and minimize the tax burden on their estates in compliance with Illinois tax regulations.

Will Your Estate Owe Estate Tax?

Determining whether your estate will owe estate tax in Illinois involves assessing the gross estate’s value.

If you are an Illinois resident and your estate exceeds $4 million, you must file an estate tax return within nine months of death. The gross estate encompasses assets like real estate, financial accounts, vehicles, business interests, and even non-probate assets like those held in a revocable living trust.

While filing a return is mandatory for estates surpassing $4 million, it does not guarantee owing estate tax.

Deductions such as marital and charitable deductions and allowances for debts and administration expenses can lower the estate’s value, potentially eliminating the tax liability.

Engaging in effective estate planning, understanding deductions, and consulting professionals can optimize the financial outcomes, ensuring that your estate navigates the Illinois estate tax landscape judiciously.

How is Illinois’ Estate Tax Different From Others?

The Illinois estate tax distinguishes itself from others in several key aspects. Notably, Illinois is one of the few states maintaining a state-level estate tax, impacting residents and nonresidents owning significant assets within its borders.

The Illinois estate tax liability threshold is $4 million, a figure lower than the federal estate tax threshold. Unlike the federal system, Illinois does not offer portability between spouses, each having a separate $4 million exemption.

The state’s progressive tax rates, ranging from 0.8% to 16%, present a more graduated structure than the federal estate tax rate of 40%.

Additionally, Illinois imposes an estate tax on nonresidents with assets exceeding $4 million in the state.

Understanding these distinctions is crucial for effective estate planning, allowing individuals to navigate the specific nuances of Illinois estate tax laws and optimize their financial strategies accordingly.


The Illinois Estate Tax is a nuanced financial consideration impacting residents and nonresidents with significant assets. With a threshold of $4 million, Illinois imposes a graduated tax rate ranging from 0.8% to 16%, distinguishing it from the federal estate tax system.

Effective estate planning is crucial, considering the absence of portability between spouses and the availability of deductions.

Understanding the intricacies of Illinois estate tax laws empowers individuals to navigate these complexities, optimize their financial strategies, and preserve assets for beneficiaries.

Seeking professional guidance remains essential for informed decision-making in managing the impact of the Illinois Estate Tax. Beem assists you in filing your taxes for every income bracket and all tax forms to maximize your refund.


Who is responsible for filing an estate tax return in Illinois?

The responsibility for filing an estate tax return in Illinois falls on the designated executor of the will, tasked with determining estate values, filing the return, and paying any taxes owed.

When are estate taxes due in Illinois?

Illinois estate taxes must be paid within nine months of the owner’s death.

Is Illinois estate tax portable for married couples?

No, Illinois estate tax is not portable for married couples; each spouse has a separate exemption amount of $4 million, and portability does not apply in the state.

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This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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