Lots of states enacted estate tax programs which supplemented the federal estate earnings tax laws. Called “pick-up” taxes, state estate tax programs generally chose up where federal taxes left-off. Thus, given that many estates did not owe federal income taxes, a little number of Floridians paid state pick-up estate taxes.

According to the pick-up tax program, estates with total gross worths below federal estate income tax limitations were not needed to pay Florida estate taxes. However, the Florida Legislature eliminated most pick-up taxes after Congress changed the federal Internal Revenue Code to offer state death tax credits to qualified taxpayers. How do these estate tax law changes affect residents?
Residents who are required to submit federal estate tax returns on the estates of decedents who passed away before Dec. 31, 2004, need to likewise file Florida estate tax returns. For estates required to submit federal estate tax returns for deaths that occurred after this date must submit an “Affidavit of No Florida Estate Tax Due When Federal Return if Needed” if they did not owe federal taxes but simply needed to submit them. For individual agents of estates who are not needed to pay or submit federal estate tax returns, Florida law needs them to submit an “Affidavit of No Florida Estate Tax Charge.”

This means that whether you are needed to submit an estate tax return in Florida depends on whether you are required to submit one with the Irs. Pursuant to the Internal Income Code, you are not required to file an estate tax return as an individual representative unless the value of the decedent’s estate goes beyond the yearly threshold as established by Congress. For the 2011 tax year, the estate tax filing limit is $5 million.