Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hello. My name is***** am an attorney. I will review your question. I may need to clarify facts first. I will answer & we can discuss issues.
I am not quite sure what the issue is if she had limited income. I understand you say she has no records. Not sure why that is so. If you do not know the moneys she received for social security, or governmental benefits, the executor can inquiry from those agencies. We can discuss more if you want to do so.
Hello Dave: Thanks for the additional information. The IRS could always sue the estate. Below is what the IRS says. I am afraid there is no way around it even for a small amount of income; luckily there are simpler forms; and really, is it worth getting on the wrong side of the IRS for such a minor annoyance of filing the proper returns. The IRS would always have the option to make this one an example case.
In general, the final individual income tax return of a decedent is prepared and filed in the same manner as when they were alive. All income up to the date of death must be reported and all credits and deductions to which the decedent is entitled may be claimed. File the return using Form 1040 or, if the decedent qualifies, one of the simpler forms in the 1040 series (Forms 1040-A or 1040-EZ).
If the decedent has not done so, you may also have to file individual income tax returns for years preceding the year of death. From IRS correspondence you find in their personal records, you may learn that the decedent has not filed required returns. You may also obtain verification of non-filing and certain income documents of the decedent from the IRS using IRS Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.
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