The general rule is that estate tax must be paid within nine months of the decedent’s death. However, a tax-savvy executor can spread out payments for more than a decade if the estate qualifies for a special tax break.
Here’s the story: If an estate includes a closely-held business or farm that comprises at least 35 percent of the estate’s overall value, the executor can elect to spread out estate tax over a ten-year period following a five-year deferral period. The amount of tax that is deferred must be attributable to the business interest. By combining the installment plan with the five-year deferral, an executor can take as long as 15 years to pay the full estate tax bill.
Estate Tax Break for Business Interests
However, there is a price to pay for this estate tax break: A two percent interest rate applies to the portion of the estate tax deferred on the first $1,450,000 of taxable value of the closely held business. This applies to the estate of a decedent dying in 2014.
Ask your estate planning adviser for more information about this tax break.