Three recent cases involving the application of the inheritance tax statute of the State of Washington have raised some problems which should receive immediate attention. The statute provides three different schedules of rates, the schedule applicable to any gift being determined by the relationship of the beneficiary to the deceased. Class A includes any devise, bequest, legacy, gift or beneficial interest to any property or income therefrom which shall pass to or for the use or benefit of any grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, husband, wife, child or stepchild, or any lineal descendant of the deceased. The schedule of rates for class A provides for a tax of 1 per cent on amounts from $10,000 to $25,000; of 2 per cent on amounts from $25,000 to $50,000, and of higher rates for larger amounts. Class B includes gifts to a brother or sister. The schedule of rates for class B begins with a tax of 3 per cent on amounts from $1,000 to $5,000, 4 per cent on amounts from $5,000 to $10,000, and continues at an increasing rate for larger amounts. Class C includes gifts to all others. The schedule of rates for class C begins with a tax of 10 per cent on all amounts up to $10,000, 15 per cent on amounts from $10,000 to $25,000, and continues at an increasing rate for larger amounts. The classification set up by the statute is inclusive in that it covers all possible gifts to all persons. The statute provides for appraisement of property subject to the tax and particularly for the manner of determining the value of gifts of life estates, estates for a term of years, and remainders.
Earl K. Nansen,
Exemptions of Remainder Interests in the Inheritance Tax Statute of the State of Washington,
14 Wash. L. Rev. & St. B.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol14/iss4/6