inheritance tax arizona - tax time note and tax forms


Do I Need to Pay Tax on My Inheritance in Arizona?

Do I need to pay tax on inheritance in Arizona? As a premier estate planning law firm in Phoenix, Chandler, and Mesa, this is a question we often hear at Phelps LaClair. Our estate plans are custom designed to protect your assets and minimize tax exposure for you and your heirs. While there is no Arizona inheritance tax law, you may or may not be exempt from an inheritance tax based on federal law.

Federal Tax Exemption

The federal inheritance tax exemption changes from time to time. In 2020, it set at $11,580,000. This means that on the federal level, if your estate is valued at less than $11,580,000 when you die, then your beneficiaries will not have to pay any federal tax on their inheritance. If your estate is valued above $11.58 million, you’ll only be taxed on the amount that exceeds this number. It is important to consult an estate planning attorney to discuss estate taxes and find the best solution for your unique needs.

Arizona Estate Tax

As of 2006, Arizona no longer levies an estate tax. But there are states that do impose a state-level estate tax. If you own property in those states, or have heirs who live in one of those states, your estate and their inheritance may be subject to taxation.

Retirement Accounts

IRAs and other retirement accounts can create different tax issues. If you have a named beneficiary on these accounts, they can be subject to taxation. Phelps LaClair now offers a groundbreaking new solution: the IRA Inheritance Trust. It is a revocable trust that you name as the primary or secondary beneficiary of your retirement accounts. You still maintain control of it, and when you die, the trust can stretch out the minimum taxable distributions to your heirs. This preserves the value of the retirement account over a longer period of time.

Income from Investments

If your estate includes income-producing investments, your heirs may need to pay a tax on the income earned by those investments during the administration of the estate. The same may be true for property that has increased in value from the time of your death until the settlement of the estate. Tax-sheltered annuities are also subject to income tax on the income earned while you held the annuity. These annuities are tax deferred, not tax free.

Estate Planning Attorneys in Phoenix

We hope this overview has been helpful in giving you a simple picture of issues concerning tax on inheritance in Arizona. For a more complete explanation and to find the best solution for your situation, come in for a consultation. At Phelps LaClair, your first consultation is free. Our attorneys are expertly informed on current tax law and we would be delighted to help you with all of your estate planning needs.

Need help understanding inheritance taxation laws in Arizona?


Give us a call today at (480) 892-2488 or email us at


Images used under creative commons license (Commerical Use) 09/13/2019  Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst

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