Estate Tax Filings by the Numbers

Estate taxes continue to be an important topic as individuals identify their wealth planning goals. With the new administration poised to make changes, take a look at the current state of who’s filing estate tax returns… and where.

Filing Threshold Increasing 1,2

Within the last decade, the filing threshold for estate tax returns has increased by over $4 million.

  • $5.34 million in 2015, 2014
  • $5.25 million in 2013
  • $2.0 million in 2006
  • $1.5 million in 2005

But Fewer People Filing

The increased threshold has led to a 73 percent decrease in estate tax returns filed between 2005 and 2015.

  • 11,917 filed in 2015
  • 11,931 filed in 2014
  • 49,050 filed in 2006
  • 45,070 filed in 2005

Top Five States that Filed

In both 2014 and 2015, California saw the highest number of estate tax return filings with Florida, New York, Texas and Illinois rounding out the rest of the top five states with the most estate tax return filings.

  • California: 2,100 filed
  • Florida: 1,300 filed
  • New York: 1,100 filed
  • Texas: 800 filed
  • Illinois: 600 filed
  • Top Two Assets

    Stocks and real estate accounted for more than 50 percent of estate tax decedents’ asset holdings in both 2014 and 2015 with a higher share in stocks and fewer shares in real estate for decedents with assets totaling over $20 million.


This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.