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Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 25585
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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My husband passed away a in 2012.He was diagnosed with forth

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My husband passed away a in 2012.He was diagnosed with forth stage lung cancer in 2009. During his illness he was contacted by the IRS and audited for 2007 and 2008. He made a repayment plan with them which he paid until his death in 2012 and I have continued to pay each month thereafter through October2013.
Today I contacted IRS regarding an "Intent To Terminate Installment Agreement (CP521)"
Total Amount due November2013 because they did not receive one of the payments.
I called IRS today to clear up this matter because I have in fact made the installment payments each month . They said:
- they can not even talk to me about this matter because my husband
Did not file jointly.
- I am not liable to pay this and was not liable to pay since he died
- they asked me if I had any paper work stating that I was the executor of
The estate, I told them I had the will, I did not go to probate because
There was nothing to probate.
Is this true, that I do not need to pay this anymore?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 1 year ago.

Lev :

Hi and welcome to our site!
That is absolutely true - you personally are NOT responsible for your spouse's tax debt.
You may simply inform the IRS that your spouse passed away - and there is no estate - and they will close his account and will write off the remaining debt.
You might need to provide a copy of his death certificate.

Lev :

You may be only held responsible if you filed a joint tax return with your spouse.
For years which you did not file a joint tax return - you are not responsible for your spouse's tax debt. You are only responsible for YOUR tax returns - that you filed separately or jointly.

Customer: I have been making these installment payments every month since may 2012 when my husband died.
Lev :

Filing his final tax return is your responsibility as an executor.
If the taxpayer dies - all income received by the taxpayer up to the day he/she passed away is reported on the final tax return of the decedent. The income received before the death will be taxable on the decedent final return on form 1040. Write "DECEASED," the decedent's name, and the date of death across the top of the tax return.
The decedent's income includible on the final return is generally determined as if the person were still alive except that the taxable period is usually shorter because it ends on the date of death.
You must attach Form 1310 to all returns and claims for refund - so refund checks will be issued with your name -

Lev :

Unfortunately - as you already made payments - the IRS will not provide any refund. But from now - you personally are not liable.

Customer: they were a financial burden, but I thought I was required to make them
Customer: Would the IRS refund those payments to me if I sent them his death certificate?
Customer: Do I do anything more to respond to the leer tidied letter I received yesterday?
Customer: thank you for your help.
Customer: sincrerly,
Customer: Sue
Lev :

Unfortunately - as you already made payments - the IRS will NOT provide any refund.
They will also garnish any possible tax refund due of the final tax return to satisfy your spouse's tax debt.
I am sorry for your mistake - but there is no refund.

Customer: So much, I did what I thought I was supposed to.
Lev :

I am very sorry for your mistake resulted a financial burden..
Unfortunately - the IRS consider that tax debt as a valid debt - and all payments to satisfy the debt - are valid payments - regardless who made such payments. So - regardless if you personally were liable or not - there is NO refund. Unfortunately.
But I am glad that you figure out that you personally are not liable - and stopped all further payments.

Customer: my husband did not work during the three years of his illness. He was not working in 2009 when he was diagnosed ,
Customer: so with regard to final income tax , I think that there are no more to be filed
Customer: Is there anything else I am supposed to do?
Lev :

Generally - filing a final tax return is a responsibility of the executor.
If he had NO income - the final tax return is not required.
However - that is generally the way to inform the IRS about the death - so it is advisable to file the final tax return even it is not required. Based on your information - you may choose to file or not to file the final tax return.

Customer: Based on my telephone conversation with them today, they know he passed away, so I really have no knowledge of how to file a tax return, I know he did not receive income and doesn't owe money, Is there some simple way I can just send them the death certificate? I thought that they were automatically notified when a person dies from the funeral home. I had to give them his SS #.
Customer: Thank you again for your help in this matter. The answer was bittersweet.
Customer: but I do feel relieved.
Lev :

Yes - the IRS is informed about the death when it is registered by SSA.
You may simply send them a letter with explanation of facts - no special form needed.
And attach a copy of the death certificate - asking to close his account - and inform that there is no assets left as he was disabled and did not work for several years.
You may also mention that tax returns were not required as he had no taxable income during last years before he passed away.

Customer: Thank you.
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 25585
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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