This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

How to Ensure Your Inheritance at Tax Time

"I would love to tell you that it had any sort of rhyme or reason from state to state or that it made any kind of sense," Hobart says.

Even if you manage to escape all those taxes, your inherited real estate and property can be a tax waiting to happen. Bergman notes that when those items are finally sold, they're subject to long-term capital gains treatment even if you've had them for less than a year. On the federal level that amounts to 15% of the difference between the selling price and the new cost basis

2. Check for qualified money
All of the taxes above apply solely to the cash, real estate and other property that's considered nonqualified money. If the person who passed away had any tax-deferred accounts or funds and named you as a beneficiary, the IRS is going to want a moment of your time.

"With qualified money -- money from 401(k)s, IRAs, 403(b)s -- it's money that's never been taxed before and, because of that, people inheriting that type of money need to be very careful," Hobart says. "If they do inherit that as a lump sum and cash that out by putting it all into a bank account, that is fully taxable as ordinary income. It doesn't matter if it's $1 or $20 million, it's a taxable asset."

Much like withdrawing from your own 401(k) or IRA early, taking money out of similar accounts left by mom or dad has consequences. While spouses are immune to such levies in certain cases, a descendant making $40,000 a year and hanging out in the 25% tax bracket can get bumped up to the 35% top tier in a hurry if they withdraw $1 million from the folks' IRA. A much lesser sum, however, may cost more to keep in the account than it will on the forms come tax time.

"If it's a small dollar amount, it probably makes more sense to take it as a lump sum to reduce the administrative burden," Bergman says. "You're still going to have to pay income tax on it during the tax year."
3 of 5

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $118.30 0.42%
FB $104.24 -1.15%
GOOG $742.60 -1.02%
TSLA $230.26 -0.58%
YHOO $33.81 2.64%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,719.92 -78.57 -0.44%
S&P 500 2,080.41 -9.70 -0.46%
NASDAQ 5,108.6660 -18.8590 -0.37%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs