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I am currently unemployed living in Atlantic City, NJ and previously I lived in Philadelphia, PA.

There is unclaimed property in Pennsylvania from my deceased mother's savings account.

Will I be better off claiming the money while living in New Jersey, or should I wait until I'm living in Pennsylvania again?

Am I better off claiming the money now while I'm unemployed and not collecting any government aid, or should I wait until I have a job again?

I don't want to lose anymore in taxes than I have to.

2 Answers 2

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In the United states when you inherit money you don't pay taxes on the amount you inherited.

The $59,000 in the bank account stopped earning interest when it was transferred to the state.

When you have the money transferred to you there is no taxes that you will pay.

Once you deposit it in your bank account, it may start earning interest, which could trigger taxes.

You will have to research if the receipt of these funds changes your unemployment compensation, or your assistance under the affordable care act. If you aren't claiming any of these types of benefits, then there should be zero impact.

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  • So regardless of if I'm living in NJ or PA I won't have to pay taxes on the $59,000 next year in April when I file my taxes? Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 19:51
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NJ income tax rate is based on your total income, ranging from 1.4% to 10.5%, PA income tax rate is flat 3.07%. So you'll be paying a difference of 1.67% on the interest earned once you move to PA, assuming you're in the lowest bracket.

Note that the tax is on the interest earned, not the money itself, that you get tax free since it is inheritance.

How to decide whether you want the inheritance or the unemployment - really up to you.

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  • The savings account holds a little over $59,000. Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 18:30
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    @IAmConfused so the difference in taxes would be less than $20, not something to forgo $60K over
    – littleadv
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 18:33
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    You don't pay tax on the account balance, the tax is only on the income. Inheritance is not a taxable income (since the estate paid estate tax), so the account balance should be tax free to you. It actually doesn't matter when you "claim" it, it should already be yours and since you already know about it, timing the withdrawal may be seen by the government as an attempt to defraud them when you don't list it on your government aid forms. Just take it and move on.
    – littleadv
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 18:45
  • The savings account holds a little over $59,000 Using your figures above, that looks like I'd owe $379 more living in NJ than if I was in PA? But you also said I don't need to pay on the total just the interest? I'm confused on that. Also, I may have been unclear the savings account is no longer active it was taken by the government as unclaimed property. So I don't believe the amount is earning interest anymore. My question on employment was if I'd have to pay a higher tax rate if I claim the money while employed than if I claim it now while my income is zero. Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 18:45
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    @IAmConfused at a risk of repeating myself, "claiming" it is not going to affect your taxes in any way, shape or form.
    – littleadv
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 18:53

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