Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–3701. Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the term:

(1)(A) "Cost-of-living adjustment" means the ratio of CPI for the preceding calendar year and the CPI for the base year.

(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term:

(i) "Base year" means the calendar year beginning January 1, 2017.

(ii) "CPI" means, for any calendar year, the average of the Consumer Price Index for the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Statistical Area for All-Urban Consumers published by the Department of Labor, or any successor index, as of the close of the 12-month period ending on July 31 of such calendar year.

(1A) “Council” means the Council of the District of Columbia.

(2) “Decedent” means a deceased person who died on or after April 1, 1987.

(3) “District” means the District of Columbia.

(3A) “Domestic partner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3).

(4) “Federal credit” means:

(A) For a decedent whose death occurs after March 31, 1987, but before January 1, 2002, the maximum amount of credit for state death taxes allowable by section 2011 of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954, approved August 6, 1954 (68A Stat. 3; 26 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.), as it existed on January 1, 1986.

(B) For a decedent whose death occurs after December 31, 2001, but before January 1, 2003:

(i) The maximum amount of credit for state death taxes allowed by section 2011 of the Internal Revenue Code [26 U.S.C. § 2011];

(ii) Any scheduled increase in the unified credit provided in section 2010 of the Internal Revenue Code [26 U.S.C. § 2010] or thereafter shall not apply and the amount of the unified credit shall be $220,550; and

(iii) An estate tax return shall not be required to be filed if the decedent’s gross estate does not exceed $675,000.

(C) For a decedent whose death occurs after December 31, 2002, but before January 1, 2017:

(i) The maximum amount of credit for state death taxes allowed by section 2011 of the Internal Revenue Code;

(ii) Any scheduled increase in the unified credit provided in section 2010 of the Internal Revenue Code or thereafter shall not apply and the amount of the unified credit shall be $ 345,800; and

(iii) An estate tax return shall not be required to be filed if the decedent’s gross estate does not exceed $ 1 million.

(D) For a decedent whose death occurs after December 31, 2016, but before January 1, 2018:

(i) The maximum amount of credit for state death taxes allowed by section 2011 of the Internal Revenue Code;

(ii) Any scheduled increase in the unified credit provided in section 2010 of the Internal Revenue Code or thereafter shall not apply and the amount of the unified credit shall be $745,800; and

(iii) An estate tax return shall not be required to be filed if the decedent's gross estate does not exceed $2 million.

(E) For a decedent dying after December 31, 2017:

(i) The maximum amount of credit for state death taxes allowed by section 2011 of the Internal Revenue Code;

(ii) The amount of the unified credit shall be $2,185,800, increased annually, beginning with the year commencing on January 1, 2019, by the cost-of-living adjustment; and

(iii) An estate tax return shall not be required to be filed if the decedent's gross estate does not exceed the applicable zero bracket amount.

(5) “Gross estate” means:

(A) For a decedent whose death occurs before January 1, 2008, the meaning defined in the Internal Revenue Code.

(B) For a decedent whose death occurs after December 31, 2007, the meaning defined in the Internal Revenue Code, except that for the purpose of calculating District estate taxes, gross estate shall be calculated as if federal estate tax law recognized a domestic partner in the same manner as a spouse.

(6) “Internal Revenue Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, approved October 22, 1986 (100 Stat. 2085; 26 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.), in effect for federal estate tax purposes on January 1, 2001, unless a different meaning is clearly required by the provisions of this chapter; provided, that if the federal estate tax is not in effect at the time of the decedent’s death, it means the Internal Revenue Code as in effect immediately before the federal estate tax ceased to be in effect.

(7) “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

(8) “Nonresident” means a decedent who was domiciled outside the District at his death.

(9) “Personal representative” means the personal representative or other person appointed by the court to administer the property of the decedent. If there is no personal representative or other person appointed, qualified, and acting within the District, then any person in actual or constructive possession of any property having a situs in the District that is included in the federal gross estate of the decedent shall be deemed to be a personal representative to the extent of the property and the District estate tax due with respect to the property.

(10) “Resident” means a decedent who was domiciled in the District at his or her death.

(11) “State” means any state, territory, or possession of the United States and the District.

(12) “Taxable estate” means:

(A) For a decedent whose death occurs prior to January 1, 2008, the meaning defined in section 2501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

(B) For a decedent whose death occurs after December 31, 2007, but before January 1, 2015, the meaning defined in section 2051 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, except that for the purpose of calculating District estate taxes, taxable estate shall be calculated as if federal estate tax law recognized a domestic partner in the same manner as a spouse.

(C) For a decedent whose death occurs after December 31, 2014, the meaning defined in section 2051 of the Internal Revenue Code, but without reduction for the deduct ion provided in section 2058 of the Internal Revenue Code, and calculated as if the federal estate tax recognized a domestic partner in the same manner as a spouse.

(12A) “Taxable situs” means with regard to:

(A) Real property, the place where the property is situated;

(B) Tangible personal property, the place where the property is customarily located at the time of the decedent’s death; and

(C) Intangible personal property, the domicile of the decedent at the time of the decedent’s death; provided, that intangible personal property used in a trade or business in the District shall have a taxable situs in the District regardless of the domicile of the owner.

(13) “Value” means value as finally determined for federal estate tax purposes, or otherwise defined under the Internal Revenue Code.

(14) "Zero bracket amount" means:

(A) For a decedent whose death occurs after December 31, 2015, but before January 1, 2017, $1 million;

(B) For a decedent whose death occurs after December 31, 2016, but before January 1, 2018, $2 million; or

(C) For a decedent whose death occurs after December 31, 2017, $5.6 million, increased annually, beginning with the year commencing on January 1, 2019, by the cost-of-living adjustment.


(Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-168, § 2, 33 DCR 7008; Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-209, § 402(a), 34 DCR 689; June 24, 1987, D.C. Law 7-9, § 3, 34 DCR 3283; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; June 5, 2003, D.C. Law 14-307, § 1402(a), 49 DCR 11664; Nov. 13, 2003, D.C. Law 15-39, § 2102(a), 50 DCR 5668; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 109(e), 53 DCR 6794; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 41(o), 55 DCR 6758; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7012(f)(1), 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 7044, 62 DCR 10905; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 7173, 64 DCR 7652; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 7232(b), 65 DCR 9388.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-3701.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-307 rewrote pars. (4), (5), and (6).

D.C. Law 15-39, in par. (4)(B), substituted “$345,800” for “$675,000” in subpar. (ii), and substituted “$1 million” for “$675,000” in subpar. (iii).

D.C. Law 16-191 rewrote par. (4)(B) and added par. (4)(C). Prior to amendment, par. (4)(B) read as follows: “(B) For a decedent whose death occurs on or after January 1, 2002: (i) The maximum amount of credit for state death taxes allowed by section 2011 of the Internal Revenue Code; (ii) Any scheduled increase in the unified credit provided in section 2010 of the Internal Revenue Code or thereafter shall not apply and the amount of the unified credit shall be $345,800; and (iii) An estate tax return shall not be required to be filed if the decedent’s gross estate does not exceed $1 million.”

D.C. Law 17-231 added par. (3A); and rewrote pars. (5) and (12), which had read as follows: “(5) ‘Gross estate’ means gross estate as defined in the Internal Revenue Code.” “(12) ‘Taxable estate’ means taxable estate as defined in 2051 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.”

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 rewrote the introductory language of (4)(C); added the proviso in (6); substituted “decedent dying after December 31, 2007, but before January 1, 2015” for “decedent whose death occurs on or subsequent to January 1, 2008” in (12)(B); added (12)(C); added (12A) and (14); and rewrote (13).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 rewrote (14).

Applicability

Section 7233 of D.C. Law 22-168 provided that the amendment made to this section by section 7232(b) of D.C. Law 22-168 shall apply as of January 1, 2018.

Section 7174 of Law 22-33 provided that the changes made to this section by Law 22-33 shall apply as of January 1, 2018.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7232(b) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7232(b) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7173 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7173 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1402(a) of Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Amendment Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-544, December 4, 2002, 49 DCR 11700).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Inheritance and Estate Tax Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-448, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 7865).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Inheritance and Estate Tax Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-507, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10219).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1402(a) of the Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Amendment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-27, February 24, 2003, 50 DCR 2151).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1402(a) of Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Amendment Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-103, June 20, 2003, 50 DCR 5499).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2002(a) of Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-105, June 20, 2003, 50 DCR 5613).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2002(a) of Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-149, September 22, 2003, 50 DCR 8360).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Estate and Inheritance Tax Clarification Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-281, December 18, 2003, 51 DCR 187).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Estate and Inheritance Tax Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-398, March 18, 2004, 51 DCR 3630).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Estate and Inheritance Tax Clarification Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-620, November 30, 2004, 51 DCR 11455).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Estate and Inheritance Tax Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-32, February 17, 2005, 52 DCR 3016).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Estate and Inheritance Tax Clarification Emergency Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-203, November 17, 2005, 52 DCR 10513).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Estate and Inheritance Tax Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-283, February 27, 2006, 53 DCR 1633).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Estate and Inheritance Tax Clarification Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-510, October 25, 2006, 53 DCR 9082).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 25(e) of Finance and Revenue Technical Amendments Second Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-585, December 28, 2006, 54 DCR 340).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7022(f)(1) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7012(f)(1) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7012(f)(1) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7016(t) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Inheritance and Estate Tax Temporary Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-227, March 25, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 2740).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Inheritance and Estate Tax Clarification Temporary Act of 2004 (D.C. Law 15-119, March 30, 2004, law notification 51 DCR 3806).

Section 2 of D.C. Law 15-315, in par. (4), rewrote subpar. (B), and added subpar. (C) to read as follows:

“(ii) Any scheduled increase in the unified credit provided in section 2010 of the Internal Revenue Code or thereafter shall not apply and the amount of the unified credit shall be $675,000; and

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 15-315 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Section 2 of D.C. Law 16-62 amended par. (4)(B) and added par. (4)(C) to read as follows:

“(B) For a decedent whose death occurs on or after January 1, 2002:

“(ii) Any scheduled increase in the unified credit provided in section 2010 of the Internal Revenue Code or thereafter shall not apply and the amount of the unified credit shall be $130,300; and

“(iii) An estate tax return shall not be required to be filed if the decedent’s gross estate does not exceed $675,000.

“(C) For a decedent whose death occurs on or after January 1, 2003:

“(i) The maximum amount of credit for state death taxes allowed by section 2011 of the Internal Revenue Code;

“(ii) Any scheduled increase in the unified credit provided in section 2010 of the Internal Revenue Code or thereafter shall not apply and the amount of the unified credit shall be $345,800; and

“(iii) An estate tax return shall not be required to be filed if the decedent’s gross estate does not exceed $1 million.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 16-62 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Short Title

Short title of title XXI of Law 15-39: Section 2101 of D.C. Law 15-39 provided that title XXI of the act may be cited as the Inheritance and Estate Tax Parity Act of 2003.

See note to § 47-3701.

References in Text

Section 2011 of the Internal Revenue Code, referred to in par. (4)(B)(i), is classified to 26 U.S.C. § 2011.

Section 2010 of the Internal Revenue Code, referred to in par. (4)(B)(ii), is classified to 26 U.S.C. § 2010.

Effective Dates

Section 601(b) of D.C. Law 6-209 provided that title III and sections 401, 402, 404, 405 and 406 of the act shall take effect on October 1, 1987.

Editor's Notes

Section 2103 of D.C. Law 15-39 provided: “Section 2102 shall apply as of January 1, 2003.”

Section 109(f) of D.C. Law 16-191 provided: “Subsections (b) and (c) of this section shall apply as of April 1, 2004.”