Thursday, December 15, 2011

The IRS' View on Common Mistakes Made When Returns are Submitted for the Deceased

Below are several common mistakes the IRS finds when reviewing various tax returns (income, federal estate, etc.) associated with a person who has died:
  1. Wrong "Date of Death" is listed -- can have a huge impact because of shifting federal exemption amounts each year;
  2. Wrong Social Security Number is listed;
  3. Simple math errors;
  4. Copies of wills or trusts (when required) are not included;
  5. Inadequate appraisals;
  6. Appraisals are not included;
  7. Failure to include history of prior gifts made by decedent;
  8. Using FMV of house at time of sale instead of Date of Death -- there is a good chance the value at sale is much lower than date of death.
Whether you are doing the form yourself or are giving information to a professional, it will save you time, money, and heart ache if you can avoid these common mistakes.

Thanks to R. Chistian Davis, Vice President, Private Client Group, US Bank, Madison, Wisconsin, for discussing this information at the 45th Annual CLEW Tax Workshop, presented by the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Remember, a blog is for discussion, and is not a substitute for legal or tax advice. Please consult your attorney and or tax person for advice specific to your situation.

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