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Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 28082
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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my husband passed dec.10,2011. I filed a married joint return

Customer Question

my husband passed dec.10,2011. I filed a married joint return for the tax year 2011 now the estate is claiming that i owe the half of the federal and half of the state return how can this be so
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 3 years ago.

LEV :

Hi and welcome to Just Answer!

Generally, the personal representative and the surviving spouse can file a joint return for the decedent and the surviving spouse. However, the surviving spouse alone can file the joint return if no personal representative has been appointed before the due date for filing the final joint return for the year of death. The income of the decedent that was includible on his or her return for the year up to the date of death and the income of the surviving spouse for the entire year must be included in the final joint return.

In filing jointly, both taxpayers are jointly and severally liable for the tax and any additions to tax, interest, or penalties that arise as a result of the joint return even if they later divorce. Joint and several liability means that each taxpayer is legally responsible for the entire liability.
The IRS will hold you responsible for all taxes - so if you and the estate wants to divide the tax liability - that is between you and the executor of the estate.

LEV :

A court-appointed personal representative may revoke an election to file a joint return previously made by the surviving spouse alone. This is done by filing a separate return for the decedent within one year from the due date of the return (including any extensions). The joint return made by the surviving spouse will then be regarded as the separate return of that spouse by excluding the decedent's items and refiguring the tax liability.

LEV :

In some cases, one spouse may be relieved of joint liability for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse that were incorrectly reported on the joint return. If the decedent qualified for this relief while alive, the personal representative can pursue an existing request, or file a request, for relief from joint liability.

JACUSTOMER-eu4bj188- :

i never got my answer where did it go?

LEV :

In some cases, a spouse will be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint tax return. Three types of relief are available.
1.Innocent spouse relief.
2.Separation of liability.
3.Equitable relief.
Please find here a brief information about these three Types of Relief At A Glance - http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Three-Types-of-Relief-at-a-Glance

Expert:  Lev replied 3 years ago.
Hi and welcome to Just Answer!
Generally, the personal representative and the surviving spouse can file a joint return for the decedent and the surviving spouse. However, the surviving spouse alone can file the joint return if no personal representative has been appointed before the due date for filing the final joint return for the year of death. The income of the decedent that was includible on his or her return for the year up to the date of death and the income of the surviving spouse for the entire year must be included in the final joint return.
In filing jointly, both taxpayers are jointly and severally liable for the tax and any additions to tax, interest, or penalties that arise as a result of the joint return even if they later divorce. Joint and several liability means that each taxpayer is legally responsible for the entire liability.
The IRS will hold you responsible for all taxes - so if you and the estate wants to divide the tax liability - that is between you and the executor of the estate.
A court-appointed personal representative may revoke an election to file a joint return previously made by the surviving spouse alone. This is done by filing a separate return for the decedent within one year from the due date of the return (including any extensions). The joint return made by the surviving spouse will then be regarded as the separate return of that spouse by excluding the decedent's items and refiguring the tax liability.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


there is not an executor just an admininistrator my cpa told me i could file a married joint return with all that said now the administrator is coming back and say ing that half the federal and state refund belong to the estate when he died on dec.10 2011 and it was for the tax year 2011 that was filed

Expert:  Lev replied 3 years ago.
First of all - you did not HAVE to file a joint tax return - you had a choice either to file a joint tax return - or to file a separate tax return.
Since you choose to file a joint tax return - and there is no a court-appointed personal representative - you may not change anything at this time.
The IRS doesn't divide the tax refund - that is a civil matter between you and the administrator of the estate.
If you disagree - you may use a mediation service to help with negotiations.

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