It is necessary to disclose joint property owned in part by the decedent at the time of his death. Often, joint accounts will provide for the surviving account owner to retain the account, however, these accounts must still be disclosed for purposes of assessing any applicable inheritance tax. Pennsylvania assesses an inheritance tax of 4.5% for lineal descendants, 12% for other relatives, and 15% for other third parties. There is no tax for assets passing to a spouse. An inheritance tax return should be filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue within nine (9) months from the decedent’s death.

Schedule F of the inheritance tax return is for jointly-owned property with rights of survivorship. The list should include a complete description of the asset, date asset was placed into joint ownership, value at date of death and value of decedent’s taxable interest. The identity of the joint tenant(s) is also required along with address and relationship to decedent. Property held as tenants in common should not be included on Schedule F. Instead, those assets should be reported on the applicable schedule with the value of decedent’s interest only.  By April M. Townsend