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Death Taxes

  1. Death Taxes
  2. Unified Tax Credit
  3. Widow's Exemption
  4. Form 706
  5. Inheritance Tax

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Form 706: United States Estate Tax Return Overview

Updated: February 20, 2023

The United States Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return is found on Form 706. The federal estate tax and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax due by the decedent’s estate are calculated using this tax form.

Read on as we take you through an overview of this tax form, including who can file it, where to get it, and exactly how to file it. 

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    • An executor of a decedent’s estate uses Form 706 to compute any estate tax due under Chapter 11 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). As well as any generation-skipping transfer tax (GSTT) imposed under Chapter 13 of the IRC.
    • A deceased U.S. citizen or resident must file Form 706. This is if their gross estate, adjusted taxable gifts, and special exemptions total more than $12.06 million in 2022.
    • Taxes due on trust distributions subject to the generation-skipping transfer tax are determined using Form 706-GS(D) (GSTT).

    What Is Form 706?

    Form 706: United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return is a form issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that is used by the executor of an estate. The Internal Revenue Code’s (IRC) Chapter 11 will be used to assess the estate tax liability.

    Taxes are levied on the entire taxable estate. This means that it is not just the portion of the estate that belongs to a particular beneficiary. The generation-skipping transfer tax (GSTT) levied by Chapter 13 of the Internal Revenue Code is also calculated by executors. This is done by using Form 706.

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    What Are the Types of Form 706?

    There are two types of Form 706: 

    1. Form 706-NA

    For nonresident alien decedents, the estate tax and GSTT liability are determined using Form 706-NA, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return.

    2. Form 706-GS(D)

    Using Form 706-GS(D), the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Distributions, taxpayers can calculate the taxes owed on trust distributions that are subject to the GSTT. Form 706-GS must be used to calculate and report the relevant tax for every individual who receives a taxable distribution from a trust (D).

    Who Can File Form 706?

    Every executor of an estate of a citizen or resident of the United States is required to submit Form 706:

    • Whose gross estate ( $12.06 million for descendants who passed away in 2022) exceeds the exclusion level, as well as any adjusted taxable gifts and particular exemptions.
    • Whose executor, regardless of the size of the decedent’s gross estate, chooses to distribute the “dead spousal unused exclusion” (DSUE) sum to the surviving spouse.

    Where to Get Form 706?

    You can download Form 706 from the IRS website. On the “About Form 706” “Current Revision” section, PDF versions of the most recent revisions and instructions for each form are accessible for downloading.

    Select the form version that corresponds to the relevant decedent’s death date. The dates of death to which the form relates are listed at the beginning of the form’s first page.

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    How to File Form 706

    Within nine months of the decedent’s passing, you must file a paper Form 706 to report the estate or GSTT.

    If you can’t submit Form 706, you can use Form 4768, Application for Extension of Time to File a Return and/or Pay U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Taxes, to request an automatic six-month extension.

    Within nine months of the decedent’s death, both the estate tax and the GSTT are due.

    Checks must be made payable to “United States Treasury” and write “Form 706” on the check along with the decedent’s name and Social Security number. Alternatively, you can use the Electronic Federal Tax Payments System to pay online (EFTPS).

    You must also attach a death certificate to the return. 


    For U.S. citizens and residents, the IRS Form 706 is the tax return used to determine their estate and GST tax obligations. For non-resident descendants, a different version of the form, Form 760-NA, is available.

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    FAQS on Form 706

    When Must Form 706 Be Filed?

    Generally, Form 706 and any taxes owed must be filed within nine months of the decedent’s passing.

    How Much Does It Cost to File Form 706?

    If you want Form 706 filed for you via an agency then costs will vary from $1,000 to $2,500.

    What Is the Penalty for Late Filing of Form 706?

    If you underpay the estate tax by more than $5,000 and the IRS determines that the underpayment was caused by underestimated appraisals, they will impose a 20 percent penalty.

    What Happens if You Don’t File 706?

    If you don’t file Form 706 then the IRS will impose a 20% penalty. 


    553 HRS


    $ 7000




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