Form 706

United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return

The 706 form, often referred to as the United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, is a document used by the IRS to calculate estate tax due under Chapter 11 of the Internal Revenue Code. This comprehensive resource and guide delve into the nuances of the 706 form, aiming to demystify its purpose, components, and filing requirements. Suitable for estate executors and tax professionals, this guide combines in-depth research optimized for SEO to ensure a thorough understanding of the 706 form.

What is a 706 Form?

The 706 form is a pivotal document in the realm of estate planning and taxation. It serves as the primary means through which estate taxes are reported and paid to the IRS, following the death of an individual.

  • Detailed Description: This form details the value of the decedent's estate and assesses the taxes due on the transfer of such property to the beneficiaries. It encompasses all taxable assets including real estate, trusts, annuities, and other financial instruments.
  • Purpose and Significance: Its primary purpose is to ensure the proper valuation and taxation of an individual’s estate upon their death, preventing the evasion of estate taxes. It is significant for its role in enforcing tax laws related to inheritance, thereby contributing to the equitable distribution of wealth.
  • Components of the Form: The 706 form includes sections for calculating the gross estate, allowable deductions, and ultimately determining the tax due. It requires detailed documentation of estate assets and liabilities.

Who Needs a 706 Form?

Not every estate requires the filing of a 706 form. The need to file is contingent upon several criteria:

  • Criteria: Filing is necessary if the gross estate exceeds the federal estate tax exemption amount for the year of the decedent's death, which for the latest tax year, stands at $11.7 million per individual.
  • Obligations: Executors of estates that meet the filing threshold are legally obligated to file a 706 form, even if no tax is ultimately due after deductions and credits.
  • Deadlines: The form must be filed within nine months of the individual's death, though a six-month extension can be requested.

How to Read and Understand 706 Form

The 706 form may appear daunting with its extensive requirements for detailed information on the estate's assets and liabilities.

  • Detailed Breakdown: The form is divided into sections including the decedent's final expenses, debts, bequests, and trusts. Understanding each section is crucial for accurate completion.
  • Explanation of Common Terms and Figures: Terms such as "adjusted gross estate," "taxable estate," and "generation-skipping transfer" (GST) tax, are key to mastering the form. Adjusted gross estate, for example, refers to the value of the estate after certain deductions are made.

How to Get Your 706 Form

Acquiring a 706 form is straightforward:

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Errors in filling out the 706 form can lead to audits, penalties, or overpayment of taxes.

  • Common Errors: These include undervaluing assets, failing to account for all taxable gifts, and incorrectly applying deductions and credits.
  • Tips: Ensuring accurate appraisals, keeping thorough records of gifts, and consulting a tax professional can prevent many common errors.

706 Form and Tax Filing

The 706 form plays a crucial role in the estate tax filing process and can influence tax obligations significantly.

  • Impact on Tax Filing: Failure to properly file a 706 form can result in penalties, interest on unpaid taxes, and even legal action. Conversely, accurate filing can lead to estate tax reductions or eliminations through applicable deductions and credits.
  • Role in Tax Returns and Possible Refunds: In certain cases, estates that overpay taxes due may be eligible for refunds, necessitating accurate and careful completion of the 706 form.

FAQ Section

  1. Who is required to file a 706 form? Executors of estates with assets exceeding the federal exemption amount must file.

  2. Can I file a 706 form electronically? As of the latest guidance, the IRS does not support electronic filing for the 706 form.

  3. What is the deadline for filing a 706 form? It must be filed within nine months of the decedent’s death, with an extension option.

  4. Do I need a professional to file a 706 form? Given its complexity, consulting a tax professional is highly recommended.

  5. Where can I download the 706 form? Directly from the IRS website.


The 706 form is a cornerstone document in the administration of estates, critical for ensuring compliance with estate tax laws. Its comprehensive coverage of an estate's assets and liabilities makes for a complex filing process, underscoring the importance of accurate completion. Executors and tax professionals should approach the 706 with diligence, and when in doubt, seek expert advice to navigate the intricate requirements of estate tax filing.

For further reading and to download the 706 form, please visit the IRS's official website. Additional resources for tax filing tips and the employer's guide can be found on

This guide aims to provide a thorough overview of the 706 form, equipping executors and professionals with the knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities of estate tax filing.

Always refer to the IRS website or a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information. provides general information and software tools for tax preparation; however, it does not offer personalized tax, legal, or professional advice. It's recommended to consult with a qualified professional for specific advice related to your financial situation.