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15 States Where the Most Estate Taxes Were Paid in 2021

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In tax year 2021, 2,584 American taxpayers paid $18.4 billion in estate taxes after allowable deductions and state death tax deductions, according to recently published federal estate tax data from the Internal Revenue Service.

Filers of an estate tax return must tote up everything a decedent owns or has certain interests in at death, determined by fair market value of these items. The sum is the gross estate. Last year, 6,158 individuals filed estate tax returns, with gross estates worth a total of $189.6 billion.

Once the gross estate is calculated, filers make deductions to arrive at the decedent’s taxable estate. Deductions include the estate and gift tax exemption, which was $11.7 million per individual in 2021.

After arriving at the net amount, filers add the value of lifetime taxable gifts to this number and compute the tax.

See the gallery for the 15 states with the highest total net estate taxes paid in tax year 2021.