The Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax is paid by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate or by the transferee (the person receiving the inheritance).  The Inheritance Tax is imposed on the value of the decedent’s estate transferred to beneficiaries. Specified deductions may be taken in determining taxable estate values.

The Inheritance tax is calculated as a percentage of the value of the assets transferred, which percentage is determined by the relationship of the heir to the decedent at the decedent’s date of death. The current tax rates are as follows:  4.5% for transfers to direct descendents (lineal heirs- children grandchildren, etc.); 12% for transfers to siblings; and 15% for transfers to other heirs. Property passing to a spouse, or from a child twenty-one years of age or younger by a parent is taxed at a rate of 0%.

Transfers to governmental entities are exempt. In addition, transfers of property to be used exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes and transfers to qualified veteran organizations are also exempt.

Inheritance Tax payments are due upon the death of the decedent and become delinquent nine months after the decedent’s death. If the Inheritance Tax is paid within three months of the decedent’s death, a 5% discount is allowed.