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January 2011

Happy New Year from the Inheritance Tax Section of the Indiana Department of Revenue, and congratulations to all new assessors taking office this month. While some of you are getting your first exposure to inheritance taxes, many of you have been dealing with consents to transfer and inheritance tax returns for years.

For all those who are new to the assessor role, please note that our inheritance-tax staff is eager to answer your questions and to make helpful resources available to you on a variety of topics of concern to you. And for those of you who are continuing in an incumbent role, we thank you for granting our request of mailing your returns from your probate courts no later than Friday of each week. Thanks to your diligent efforts, we now are receiving most returns within two weeks of the order date.

This action has helped the Department’ Inheritance Tax Section to reduce the time it takes to audit these returns. Furthermore, probate attorneys have complimented us on the faster audit times. Please accept our thanks for working with us on this request.

If you have any questions, concerns or ideas about how we can improve working together in the coming year, please send your feedback to Don Hopper, Inheritance Tax Administrator, at dhopper@dor.in.gov or 317-232-2154.

Consents to Transfer (Form IH-14)

The primary purposes of the Department of Revenue’s consent to transfer statute (IC 6-4.1-8-4) are to officially notify the Department that a resident decedent transfer is taking place and to ensure that any tax due will be paid. Generally, consents to transfer are required when a decedent’s personal property is transferred, including jointly held property and property held in trust. Exceptions to this requirement include when a surviving spouse is requesting the transfer, proceeds from a life insurance policy and money held in a checking account. (Form IH-19 is required for a transfer from a checking account, unless the surviving spouse is the transferee.)

Tax Collection Not in Jeopardy
If the county assessor believes that the transfer of property listed on Form IH-14 will not jeopardize the collection of the tax, the county assessor dates and signs the bottom of the IH-14 to consent to the transfer. The transferee then presents the consent to transfer to the holding institution to allow the property to be transferred.

When Tax Collection Is in Jeopardy
If the county assessor believes that the transfer of property listed on Form IH-14 will jeopardize the collection of the tax, the county assessor can decline dating and signing the bottom of Form IH-14, therefore refusing consent of the transfer. If the transferee pays the tax on the property to be transferred or files an inheritance tax return (Form IH-6), then the county assessor may grant consent to the transfer by dating and signing the bottom of Form IH-14. The transferee then presents the consent to transfer to the holding institution so that the property can be transferred.

Jointly Owned Property
If the county assessor believes that the transfer of jointly owned property will jeopardize the collection of the tax, he or she can authorize the holding institution to withhold transferring 20 percent of the value of the property. According to Indiana statute and regulations, only property held jointly is subject to a 20-percent retention by the holding institution. Once the tax is paid and a return filed and approved by the Indiana Department of Revenue, the remaining 20 percent can be transferred.

Sending Consents to Transfer (Form IH-14) to the Department
When a return is filed with the county assessor’s office and the court issues an Order Determining Tax (Form IH-9), please attach copies of all consents to transfer (Form IH-14) to the return before forwarding it to the Department of Revenue’s Inheritance Tax Section. Send all consents to transfer to the Department of Revenue when no return has been filed, but only after 15 months has elapsed since the date of death. This allows estates reasonable time to file a return.

Inheritance Tax Training Opportunities

Please join us for the following inheritance-tax training sessions:

  • January 19, 2011 – Indiana Assessors Conference – Indianapolis – Advanced Inheritance Tax Training (2 sessions) – call 812-349-2703 or email jsharp@co.monroe.in.us
  • January 20, 2011 – Fort Wayne Estate Planning Council – contact Benjamin Williams at 260-423-1430 or email bsw@skbw.com
  • January 21, 2011 – Indiana Assessors Conference – Indianapolis – Basic Inheritance Tax Training (designed for New Assessors and Deputies) – call
    812-349-2703 or email jsharp@co.monroe.in.us