TurboTax reports that as of tax year 2013, only eight states require beneficiaries to pay an inheritance tax: Iowa, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Nebraska, Maryland, Indiana, Tennessee and New Jersey. For tax purposes, unless the inheritance, such as property or stocks, generates an income, the inheritance is not subject to income taxes.
According to HowStuffWorks, other taxes, such as estate taxes or capital gains taxes, may be levied against the decedent's estate before sums are distributed to beneficiaries. There are some exemptions to these taxes which may prevent the beneficiary from paying any tax on an inheritance. For example, About.com notes that for 2013, any estate that totals less than $5,250,000 is not subject to federal estate taxes.