Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
The 709 is not a public document. What is your relationship to the Donor?
A Court would have to order the release of the document, but you would have to have some valid standing to request the Court to do so. The Court may order the release in connection with a divorce or if they deemed you to be a party in interest.
Did the gift involve real property?
Are you referring to a Form 709 which is a gift tax return, or are you perhaps referring to Form 706 which is an Estate Tax Return?
Well, are you saying they filed a gift tax return for your mother for a gift that occurred prior to her death?
What is it that you are trying to determine?
What is it that you are trying to determine, specifically?
All transactions (gifts, sales, mortgages, etc.) involving real property must be recorded in your local Registry of Deeds to be effective, so if she made gifts of real property, copies of the deeds transferring ownership of the property are available to anyone who requests a copy from the Registry of Deeds. Many (copies of deeds) are now available online.
OK, I see. But the fact remains that the Court is your only remedy in terms of obtaining access to the Gift Tax Returns on Form 709. These are not ordinarily public documents any more than your income tax returns are.
I still don't really understand what it is that you are trying to find out?
That would depend upon why you are seeking the order. It sounds like you would be contesting something in the Probate Court handling your mother's estate. If the Judge finds that you have a valid reason for wanting the 709s, he can simply order the Attorney to turn them over to you. Of course the Attorney may object for a number of reasons, not the least of which is to protect the Privacy of your mother's actions, Attorney/Client Privilege, etc., and then the Court will have to decide if your reason for wanting the returns is valid enough to overcome the Attorney's objections.
Again, what are you trying to find out? There may be other ways to obtain the information you seek.